Multi-Million Dollar Agricultural Centre Now Opened
The construction of a multi-million dollar Dominica-China Modern Agricultural Centre has been completed and was officially opened at One Mile, Portsmouth on May 14th 2014, during the opening ceremony of the first ever Agri-Forest Festival.
The state of the art, smart green house facility, constructed by the People’s Republic of China was built to improve Dominica’s agricultural sector – a sector that once strongly contributed to the sustainability of the island.
Chinese Ambassador to Dominica, Li Jiangning said the new Centre attests to continued efforts at strengthening the friendship between Dominica and China.
“The opening of Dominica China Modern Agriculture Centre is another celebration of our friendship and cooperation, looking forward to a next ten years” he said, stating that we still have a lot to achieve in our cooperation.
Ambassador Jiangning says he looks forward to another ten years of cooperation.
The building will serve as a training and planting facility for farmers and will house state of the art agricultural equipment and technology.
Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Honourable Matthew Walter says agriculture has the potential to create limitless opportunities and wealth but the sector is not without its challenges.
The Minister said however that the Government is dedicated to reversing that declining trend by collaborating with fair trade and other players, in crafting a realistic plan of action to address those diseases, noting that the Government has already “earmarked $3-million to keep Black Sigatoka at bay”.
Walter believes the market place is very volatile and therefore urged persons to become competitive, and consistent in quality, quantity and sustainability, to deal head-on with supply side constraints, in an effort to hold on to the market.
“The market place is very volatile hence it is imperative that we become competitive to hold on to the market. Markets do not wait for us, we should satisfy them in order to keep them, we must consistent in quality, in quantity and sustainability, we should therefore endeavor to deal frontally with supply side constraints,” he said.
According to the Minister, the authorization of packing houses will ultimately stimulate production and productivity, generate increased employment and income and reduce poverty, as we realise a surge in agricultural enterprises.
The Government has reserved 11 percent of the national budget to agriculture.