Farmers are reportedly demonstrating greater confidence in the state-owned Marketing National and Importing Board (MNIB).
According to Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of MNIB, Ruel Edwards, additional 600 farmers are currently doing business with the board.
“We have moved from 1400 farmers on register in 2012, to over 2100
farmers that are now doing business with MNIB,” Edwards told THE NEW TODAY last week Thursday.
He also reported an “increase in banana production and the consumption of local fruits and vegetables,” boasting that the “MNIB is attracting a lot more customers now (and is) linking better with the tourism sector.
“We have just started our River Road building, which is being renovated to include a lab where we would introduce greater cold storage and repair the infrastructure to ensure that we can better accommodate farmers’ produce when they come through,” Edwards said.
“So we are proud of the direction we are going…those are things that I think we could be really proud of,” he added.
The CEO pointed to some “critical investments” that have been made by the 40-year old institution within the last three years to “improve on the building, (but also) on old equipment that has been there for over 10 -15 years.”
Edwards expressed confidence that “as we go forward the MNIB is going to be stronger (and) better able to serve the farming community.”
According to the MNIB CEO, approximately “4 million pounds of produce is purchased a year” from local farmers and the board is “striving to meet the industry standard of 3% wastage of all purchases.”
“I am confident that we can achieve that,” he said.
MNIB was set up by the 1979-83 left-leaning People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop to help boost agricultural production on the island.