Opportunities are currently available for Saint Lucia to increase fresh produce exports to existing markets in the United Kingdom, Canada and CARIFORUM countries. Additionally, trade agreements like the CARIFORUM-EU EPA make it possible to export fresh produce to new markets in the European Union. Therefore, Saint Lucia has embarked on a programme expected to increase exports, as set out in the National Export Strategy (NES) for 2020-2024. This Export Strategy outlines a trade development roadmap with an overall vision of “Uniquely Saint Lucian with a Global Appeal”.
Within the National Export Strategy, a plan of action to improve the food industry through increased technical knowledge in the sector is laid out. In an effort to embrace a “farm-to-fork” value chain approach, Saint Lucia will endeavour to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders including farmers, to be more productive and compliant with international quality standards.
The project, titled “Enhancing the Capacity of Stakeholders in the Agriculture Sector to Supply Quality Products in New Markets”, comprises the following objectives
These objectives will ensure that stakeholders in the agricultural sector, including farmers and pack house staff, are trained and receive certification in the relevant standards. This project also intends to improve access of rural farming communities to export markets resulting in direct and indirect economic empowerment. As a country, Saint Lucia will benefit from this project by meeting national trade obligations under the CSEM and the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.
The objectives of the project will be met through the strategic partnership of the following agencies and institutions:
The “Enhancing Capacity of Stakeholders in the Agriculture Sector to Supply Quality Products in New Markets” Project is the second project approved for implementation in Saint Lucia under the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building. The Standby Facility is a EUR 8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) and managed by Caribbean Development Bank to support projects in CARIFORUM Member States: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARI FORUM and the European Union.