Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Hon. Karl Samuda says he is impressed and highly satisfied with the quality of operations at the Ministry’s Plant Quarantine Unit and Export Centre, at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James.
“I am very impressed and I am happy to know that this level of surveillance that is being carried out here enables us to export our produce without being confronted with any negative reactions when it arrives at its destination,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister was speaking with JIS News following an extensive tour conducted of the facility, which was led by Export Complex Manager, Dalton Hastings, on Friday (October 13).
The Plant Quarantine Unit has the responsibility to ensure that harmful pests and diseases do not enter Jamaica, and that only the highest quality, pest free produce is exported from the country.
The Unit is headquartered in Kingston and operates two export complexes, one at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and the other at Sangster.
Minister Samuda said he was also “surprised” to see the extent to which the unit is engaged in all aspects of securing the country’s exports.
“For instance, the whole section dealing with fumigation and the care that is being taken to ensure that every item that is packaged and exported are properly fumigated, and offers the maximum safety to the customers at their destinations,” he added
Meanwhile, Minister Samuda said his Ministry would be examining ways in which it could contribute to the expansion of the Montego Bay facility, which he added, is being funded without any additional special budgetary requests.
“It is not funded by the budget by special line provision. They earn money and those resources put together with the Ministry’s ability to provide the necessary funds required to keep it going efficiently, is being done,” he explained.