Roseau, Dominica – July 8, 2010…… Dominica’s banana sub-sector has received a significant boost with the official commissioning of three Banana Inland Reception and Distribution Centres (IRDCs) on Wednesday, July 7th at Fond Cole, Portsmouth and Marigot.
The centres were built at a cost of EC$8.5 million. The resources were provided by the European Commission and channelled through the Banana Industry Trust.
The Inland Reception and Distribution Centres will be used for reception, consolidation and storage of fresh bananas for export as well as for the training of farmers and conferences, cold storage, sale and distribution of production inputs and packaging materials.
Studies have revealed that the establishment of reception and distribution centres contribute to the improvement in fruit quality, reduction in transportation costs to farmers and a reduction in the average time between the harvesting and cooling of bananas.
Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, His Excellency, Valeriano Diaz flew in from Barbados to be a part of this event.
At the commissioning of the IRDC at Fond Cole were acting Prime Minister, Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore, Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Matthew Walter, Minister for Health and Parliamentary Representative for the Roseau North constituency, Hon. Julius Timothy, National Authorising Officer, EDF, Mr. Edward Lambert, Chairman of the Banana Industry Trust, Mr. Elford Henry as well as other officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and stakeholders in the banana industry in Dominica.
Government officials as well as H.E Valeriano Diaz also attended ceremonies on Wednesday to officially commission the IRDCs at Portsmouth and Marigot.
In addition to the construction of the IRDCs, the European Commission also financed the construction of multi-purpose packinghouses at Portsmouth and Goodwill. These facilities are expected to lead to increases in both the quantity and quality of fresh produce exports.