Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola is hoping that a free trade zone in Grenada would be beneficial to the farming community.
Minister Bhola who supported the Free Trade Processing Zone Bill 2015 that was passed in the Lower House of Parliament last week Tuesday believes that once a free trade zone comes to fruition, it will provide an avenue for Grenada to utilise a lot of the spoilage.
He expressed the hope that the Spice Island will be able to attract “the right people” with the requisite skills and funding so that the agriculture produce that goes to waste can be manufactured into secondary products.
The Agriculture Minister informed the House that during a conference which he attended in the Netherlands, participants were told that based on an assessment done by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), thirty percent of agriculture produce is either lost or waste before it gets to the consumer.
“If we have this zone, my hope… is that it will create an additional avenue so that farmers now can say there is another market being created outside of what we use as fresh fruits and vegetables, we can now have a market, a place where people are investing for processing,” he said.
During last week Wednesday’s “People’s Parliament” of the main opposition National Democratic Congress that took place at River Road, St. George’s, Caretaker for the Town of St. Gorge, Senator Franka Bernadine alleged that a huge amount of the farmers produce that is purchased by the Grenada Marketing and National Importing Board go to waste on a weekly basis.