The Government of Montserrat has received technical assistance through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on the establishment of an agro-processing facility.
This is part of efforts to rebuild the economy and maximize every opportunity for sustainable development.
The agricultural sector was one of the most affected by the volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters, as productive capacity, infrastructure and facilities were destroyed or rendered inaccessible.
Recognizing the need to make an informed decision regarding the establishment of the agro-processing facility, the Ministry of Agriculture Lands, Housing and the Environment approached the CDB to undertake a market assessment which would inform a technical plan for the establishment of a facility of which the space has been identified.
On 15 August 2022, the Ministry welcomed on island Technical Assistant, Claire Sargeant of Barbados, who has commenced the market assessment.
This work will determine the capacity and capability of commercial farmers and home-garden producers to deliver primary agricultural products for processing, as well as the local demand for agro-processed products and potential for exports.
Ms. Sargeant held meetings throughout her time on island with Ministry officials to determine the way forward. Meetings and interviews were also held with other key persons of the agro-processing sector along with site visits. Two round table meetings were held to share in the discussion of the facility and to better understand the needs of the people of Montserrat. One-on-one meetings were also held to facilitate those who were unable to make those sessions.
Meantime tours of the proposed agro-processing building in Brades and the designated Cassava Unit were organized. Interviews and surveys were conducted with buyers, consumers and key personnel at supermarkets and shops.
The Ministry extends sincerest appreciation to the local businesses, the Statistics Department and the Trade division for providing vital statistical and other information. It expresses its thanks to the many individuals who participated in the surveys, the Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services Network and Caribbean Development Bank for facilitating the assistance received thus far.