ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF LOCAL SECTOR DEVELOP MENT THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP.
With 70 acres of onions established, this initiative will see approximately 1.8 million pounds of local onions being harvested between July and August of 2018!
Building Local Agriculture and Reducing Imports
Spanish Grain Store Limited spearheads the value chain project – Spanish Grain Store Limited: Championing an Integrated Value Chain Toward Onion Import Substitution. This initiative is part of a supply chain project being supported by the Jamaica Business Fund, which is a private-sector rant facility under the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP). The FCGP is funded by a Government of Jamaica (GOJ) loan from the World Bank.
The project is supporting 35 small farmers in St. Catherine and St. Thomas, increasing not only their capacity to deliver higher volumes of onions but also improving on farmers’ know-how and technical competence. Seventy (70) acres of farmlands have now been established with onions, with the project expected to be sustained through long-term contracts between Spanish Grain and the farmers.
Spanish Grain’s Managing Director Brian Wong signs agreement with the Jamaica Business Fund, committing to support 35 farmers in onion production and purchasing all of their inputs valuing over J$108,000,000
The issue of productivity is a major industry challenge for onion farmers, with one contributing reason being postharvest loss of onion bulbs and another being the poor application of best practice onion production methods. The project is addressing these challenges and is already effectively transforming the landscape of the onion industry through the introduction of cutting-edge systems and processes to include:
- Production of onions through seedlings transplanting and the building of a what is now Jamaica’s largest greenhouse located in Spanish Town.
- A seedling transplanter has been procured, the first of its kind to be used in Jamaica. This will significantly increase productivity, especially by lowering the cost to transplant seedlings
- Best practice irrigation program implemented, complemented by technical assistance in on-farm water management.
- Building of a post-harvest drying facility in Colbeck, St. Catherine