JIS News

Exporters will now have a place to store their produce overnight with the official opening of the Air Jamaica Cargo Cooler Facility, at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Agricultural Export Complex at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke in his remarks at the opening ceremony today (June 12), said that the facility will provide the appropriate environment for handling the trans-shipment of agricultural produce from South America into Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“The commissioning of this facility will make Jamaica more attractive as a trans-shipment point for the perishable products moving within these markets, and will also serve to compliment the work being done by our Plant Quarantine Division, which manages this agricultural complex here at the airport,” he pointed out.
According to the Minister, the agricultural complex processes an average of approximately three million kilograms of produce annually, and earns an average income of $21 million per year. “It is expected that with the addition of this trans-shipment facility, Air Jamaica’s operations will significantly increase both figures,” he said.
Mr. Clarke pointed out that Jamaica is a signatory to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and as such the Government has a responsibility to ensure that the complex is in keeping with international requirements, such as the maintenance of proper sanitary standards, the allocation of adequate warehouse space, and the provision of well-maintained equipment.
“To this end the Ministry has spent $15.3 million through our Agricultural Support Services project (ASSP) to upgrade this facility in keeping with first world standards,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of Air Jamaica, Michael Conway said Air Jamaica will be offering flights to South America within the next 12 months.
“We will be doing this in collaboration with several of the South American carriers and the idea is to compliment each other. What you’re likely to see is Air Jamaica flying to cities such as Rio San Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Caracas several times a week, in time to arrive in Jamaica to connect with our North bound flights to North America as well as those to the Eastern Caribbean,” he explained.
Air Jamaica partnered with investors and manufacturers of the United Kingdom-based Exotic Farm Produce Limited, and Athos Agricola in Peru to complete the facility.

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