(CMR) Under a new import-export arrangement between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, the Ministry of Agriculture has approved a broadened list of agricultural produce that can be imported to the Cayman Islands, effective May 23.
The products added to the list are plantain, breadfruit, soursop as well as blanched and frozen ackees.
Minister of Agriculture Hon. Jay Ebanks, who recently visited Jamaica and held bilateral meetings with his counterpart in an effort to strengthen local food security, said the new arrangement would allow the Cayman Islands direct access to high-quality and fresh produce from Jamaica.
“With the ongoing and increasing threats to global food supplies from climate change to the war in Europe, expanding intra-regional trade within the Caribbean is critical to our food security and economic stability,” he stated.
Minister Ebanks further commented, “The demand for some of these newly added produce has exceeded what we grow locally. Until sufficient supply is produced locally, Jamaica offers a good alternative as it is closer than other countries from which we import similar items. In the meantime, we will continue to provide our farmers with the resources needed to strengthen their resilience to boost the Islands' food and nutrition security”.
Under the agreed import conditions, all exporters from Jamaica must have a valid import permit from the Department of Agriculture to Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Plant Quarantine’s produce inspection officers.
Additionally, the produce must be sourced from farms registered and certified by Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
All commodities intended for entry into the Cayman Islands must be inspected and certified to be of good quality, clean, and free of pests, soil, and foreign matter by authorized officers from Jamaica’s Produce Inspection Division at approved packing houses or the designated export complex.
Consignments must be accompanied by a valid phytosanitary certificate issued and signed by an officer of the National Plant Protection Organisation of Jamaica and are subject to inspection on arrival by officers in the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Health Inspection Services Unit.
The Cayman Islands and Jamaica have a long-standing trading relationship spanning over 20 years, facilitating the export of agricultural commodities from Jamaica to the Cayman Islands following international standards.