Major developments are to take place shortly in the Jamaican banana industry, with an emphasis on production for the export market.
Addressing the opening of the Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Trelawny, agriculture minister Derrick Kellier said the developments would include putting more land into banana cultivation, in order to take advantage of a thriving market in the United Kingdom.
According to the Jamaica Observer, Kellier said that while on a recent visit to the UK, discussions were held with major stakeholders with a view to getting more Jamaican produce, mainly ripe and green bananas, into that market.
He reportedly told delegates: "I can report very good news. Coming out of our trip to England there are expressions of interest from three major importers of bananas, ripe and green, to which we have started to respond."
He added that emphasis will be placed on getting more idle lands into banana production, with over 381 hectares of land being targeted.
Assistance will come through the All Island Banana Growers Association (AIBGA), utilising a special credit scheme, the Observer reported.