Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Audley Shaw, said that the time has come for Jamaica to begin exporting canned ackee and salt fish in addition to canned ackee that the country already exports.
Shaw was addressing a virtual meeting of the Food Security and Agribusiness Council, which he jointly chairs with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF), Floyd Green and Matthew Lyn, who chairs the Agriculture Sub-Committee of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica.
The minister said that Jamaica needs to leverage the acclaim of our world-famous cuisine, especially given the declaration of Jamaica’s National Dish – ackee and salt fish, as the number two national dish in the world by the National Geographic Magazine some time ago.
“It is time for us to aggressively increase our production of ackee with vast acreages of ackee orchards and export our famous dish to the world in a ready-to-eat fashion,” Shaw said.
The minister said the world demand by the Jamaican Diaspora as well as exotic third country markets for Jamaican food is insatiable and we must sharply increase agricultural and agro-industry production to fill this demand while creating wealth for the Jamaican people.
The industry ministry will be working closely with the agriculture ministry, JAMPRO and the private sector to aggressively develop these sectors, Shaw said.
The Food Security and Agribusiness Council is now formalising an action plan to encourage large-scale investments in these critical sectors in order to create wealth among Jamaicans by selling exotic food to the world.