Packhouses getting back to business, says Dominica minister

Ian Douglas
Ian Douglas.

Dominica’s minister for trade, energy and employment has given a detailed update on his ministry post hurricane Maria.

Ian Douglas noted that the multipurpose packhouses in Roseau and Portsmouth, which were officially opened just about two years ago, suffered minimal damage.

The packhouses served as distribution centres for the distribution of relief supplies.

“Now that we are winding down the distribution of relief supplies on a national basis, those facilities are slowly returning to their original function which is being used as packhouses so that we can encourage the trade of fresh produce outside of Dominica because despite Hurricane Maria we want to ensure that we maintain our market,” he said.

He said a number of dasheen shipments have already been made to the United States.

As crops become more readily available, the ministry will continue to expand the reach of the island’s markets abroad, he added.

“Farmers are being encouraged to go back into the fields and government through the Ministry of Agriculture has been providing the necessary support in terms of the inputs and the technical support from the extension officers,” he explained.

For the year preceding Hurricane Maria, the Ministry of Trade was able to generate EC$1 million in the export of fresh produce through the packhouses.

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