The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is establishing an essential oils incubator that will provide manufacturing capacity for clients as well as further position the country to tap into the lucrative global industry.
The development forms part of a project that aims to, among other things, establish an organised and viable essential oils industry.
In welcoming the initiative, Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, said that it supports the expansion of manufacturing for export, and pledged the Government’s commitment to help the essential oils industry grow and thrive.
He noted that the global market for essential oils was estimated at $18.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a growth rate of about 7.4 per cent in terms of revenue up to 2028.
“I look forward to the essential oils incubator project as it builds capacity for processors and provides training in supply change management and business development. The Ministry is excited about this initiative,” Dr. Dunn said.
He was addressing the JBDC’s online business dialogue forum on the essential oils industry on February 28.
He highlighted the need for increased collaboration between the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and other key agencies for the provision of lands for the planting of crops to supply raw material for the essential oils market.
These include tumeric, ginger, lemon grass, and moringa.
The State Minister said that farmers should also look to increase or diversify production to meet industry demand.
Manager for the Incubator and Resource Centre, JBDC, David Harrison, explained that the essential oils incubator project will provide manufacturing capacity for the processing of oils from locally viable plant stock while increasing the value chain.
“The incubator is going to be somewhat of a hub that should stimulate entrepreneurship in the sector.
“It will provide for rural development, import substitution through the use of local raw materials, export promotion by using strong brands of genuine Jamaican essential oils, and demonstrate that this is a sustainable activity in the production of essential oils, so that it can be replicated,” he pointed out.
Mr. Harrison said that the incubator, which should be operational by next month, will provide shared space for use by clients, who can bring in their own raw materials and produce for manufacturing.
“It is currently under construction… major production equipment is actually inhouse. So, in April, we should be in business,” he noted.
The business forum was held under the theme ‘Developing the manufacturing sector – towards an oil-rich Jamaica’.
The manufacturing sector is currently the third highest contributor to the Jamaican economy with 7.95 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
Of particular interest is the emerging cosmeceutical industry, which could further boost the growth prospects with its projected value of US$675 million.
With an abundance of raw materials and natural ingredients like castor beans, lemon grass, among others, Jamaica is well poised to manufacture quality products that are suitable for hair, skin and body care, for both the local and export markets.