Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and chief executive officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Rodinald Soomer have signed a grant agreement aimed at enhancing export capacity and value-added in the island’s spices sector.
The immediate beneficiary company, West India Spices, has been awarded a grant of US$244,000. The grant, according to Soomer, will help to increase drying and grinding capacity based on the use of renewable power sources that will facilitate all weather production of value-added nutmeg-based products for export.
“It is expected that the project will have the impact of increasing West India Spices’ purchases of raw inputs for producing essential oils on average by 10 percent per year until 2025,” Sommer said at the signing ceremony.
“West India Spices Inc. is committed to making the increased drying and grinding capacity available to the Nutmeg industry for an agreed period to be determined under a subsidiary agreement with the Grenada Nutmeg Industry Association at very concessional rates, supported by a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture.”
He said the ultimate impact of the project will be increased production, employment, incomes and foreign exchange earnings accruing to the direct beneficiary, the industry and the wider economy.
Under the first funding cycle of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) for which all funding commitments were approved at the end of 2015, Grenada received approval for seven projects totaling US$4.76 million – US$3 million in concessional loans and US$1.76 million in grants.