The Export Division of the Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for collecting, storing, processing, marketing, and shipping of pimento, together with the overall development of the industry.
Since 1999 the Export Division has also been assisting ginger growers in the re-development of that industry which was devastated by Rhizome Rot Disease. In addition, the Division currently guarantees markets for fresh/green, dried, and peeled traditional type Jamaican ginger and nutmeg.
In order to sustain the pimento industry, the Division is in the process of carrying out a major Rehabilitation Programme, involving the following:
- a Black Ant Control Project;
- the production and distribution of planting material (free of charge);
- issuing of drying and reaping equipment to qualified pimento growers; and
- the establishment of nurseries for the propagation of select planting material.
In order to encourage increased production, government has increased the Farmgate price of pimento by 161%, moving the price from $50.71 to $132.28 per kilo ($23.00 to $60.00 per lb) over the last five-year period.
Jamaican Pimento is of the highest quality, in terms of its oil content, composition of oil and market presentation. The Pimento Industry consistently earns over US$5 million annually, from Pimento Berry, Pimento Leaf Oil, Pimento Berry oil, and other products involving Pimento. The Industry also creates an opportunity for niche market in the manufacturing of products such as Jerk Seasoning, mixed spices and Pimento Liqueur.