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Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar. (IWN photo)
Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar. (IWN photo)

The Ministry of Agriculture is ensuring the quality of root crops in a test shipment on Tuesday that could see US$1.2 million in agricultural produce sold to New York annually.

Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, told a workshop of youths from 14 Caribbean nations here this week that a supermarket chain in New York is interested in buying the produce.

“We are still in conversation with the people because we have just began to speak with the chain in New York,” Caesar later told I-Witness News.

“But actually, the first sample is going off on Tuesday of next week and the Ministry is working with exporters to ensure that the best quality goes off — so [that] we do not send off anything bad that kills the trade,” he further said.

Caesar said the supermarket is interested in buying Vincentian sweet potatoes, tannia, eddoes, dasheen and ginger.”

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He further told the workshop that an analysis of exports in U.S. Dollars in 2010 found that SVG was the 23rd largest exporter of root crops in the world.

He said he wants this country to reach number 8, currently held by Jamaica.

“And the analysis also proves that per square mile and per capita, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the largest exporter of root crops in the entire world,” Caesar said.

“These are achievement that we have been able to obtain,” he added, noting the contribution of local and regional farmers and agriculture organisation.

3 replies on “SVG negotiating sale of US$1.2m in produce to NY yearly”

  1. Watching Hard says:

    This is good news. Now if we can find a way to add value to the produce, whether by processing, creating a specialty product, or creating an organic or gourmet product out of our root crops, then we will be on the way to a half decent food industry. As we know, a basic root crop product is not particularly high value. Let’s hope that they are looking into ways to get as much as they can out of what we have.

  2. TeacherFang says:

    Why are these people so quick to jump the gun…this is an exploratory phase that is taking place;no contract signed, why not wait until all final agreement is in place before making any public statement on the matter.How much you want to bet a year from now, we are still negotiating with this Supermarket and going nowhere.

    And another thing, Mr Ceasar says he wants SVG to be No.8 on the list for the export of root crop in the world; but given the fact that most of Government investment at the moment is going into the airport; one has to ask, is the Government really making the sort of investment in agriculture to achieve such an objective? Or could it be, Mr Ceasar is just pandering to the listening public?

  3. TEACHERFANG, the make such announcements to make us look in a different direction than what is going on here, and to give hope to farmers, the ignorant and the very stupid.

    There is nothing in the way of fruit and vegetables that you cannot buy in US supermarkets. The US Ministry of Ag is so pedantic about quality, that what you see on the supermarket counters is far better in quality and appearance than I have ever seen straight from the ground or tree in SVG. You will see nothing in the markets here to compare.

    The US produce that you see in the supermarkets here in SVG is only the rejects, Americans would not eat the quality sold here. Yet the US produce sold here is still superior to Vincentian produce sold here.

    People stop listening to this bunch of kidders, use your brains, what are they trying to cover up by telling this bunch of crap.

    It just amazes me how many supposedly intelligent people get suckered in by this total bollackical load of rubbish.

    I suspect this is just the start of a pretence that we will need to fly a lot of produce from Argyle Airport. Can you imaging the cost of flying a load of crap to the US that will not pass the Ministry of Agriculture rules and inspection.

    We used to ship 1000’s of mango’s to the US, that was stopped because of infection by the Caribbean fruit fly, the mango crop is still infected many years after being banned from the US.

    Can you imagine trying to send anything to the US, we have vine weevil at the moment that is eating potato and pumpkin and most other vines. We also have a serious outbreak of tiny caterpillars which are eating everything in sight. We have moco, black sigatoka and a number of other problems. Anyone of those things preclude us from the US market.

    Can I ask how many trips to New York Mr Caesar has made so far and how many more he intends to make on this project.

    Saboto try Miami, even West coast US, spend some of the tax payers money, good hotels, restaurants, because if its good for the fat man, it must be good for you also.

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