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Developing spice industry.

DEVELOPING SPICE INDUSTRY. Jamaica's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is starting a spice development program, which will target a number of crops for expansion and export, reports JIS (Dec. 30, 2010). "Jamaica has a reputation for quality spices and we are trying to develop a spice industry," said general manager of the Export Division, Sylburn Thomas. "We are getting the right planting material to introduce to the farmers, doing site selection in the right geographic locations and, over time, the processing facilities," he added. Assistance is being provided for farmers to increase the production of ginger. "We are also looking at a nursery program in which we supply disease-free planting material to the industry so we can combat the ginger rhizome rot disease," Thomas said. He said the government is providing funding for the research and commercial production of the planting material, which will then be sold to the farmers at a subsidized rate. The Export Division is also discussing with suppliers to set up a centralized processing facility for ginger, including a steam distillation plant as well as a slicing machine. "We are also looking at washers and a steam dryer so that way, we can maintain the quality and integrity of the product and generate greater value for the farmers in the country," Thomas said. He noted that the Jamaican ginger is known globally and while some of the largest spice manufacturers in the US, Europe and Japan are familiar with the product, "markets in Japan, India, United Kingdom and Germany seem to have a greater preference for the Jamaican ginger."
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Title Annotation:JAMAICA
Publication:Caribbean Update
Date:Jan 27, 2011
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