Ten farmers who indicated their interest in meeting national produce quality standards received equipment to help them reach their goal.
The Dominica Bureau of Standards with partners, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture made the presentation on Thursday.
The gear included protective gloves, goggles, outfits, pesticide storage bins, respirators and signage.
The package means that those who handle produce and pesticides on the farm will be themselves protected while ensuring the best quality of the food.
This entire programme is part of Dom-GAP, good agriculture practices specific to Dominica but based on international standards.
Director of the Bureau of Standards, Median LaRocque explained that, “The ultimate goal is to enable Dominica’s fresh produce to become internationally competitive through the adoption of innovative farm practises that incorporate concepts of globally-accepted good agriculture practises within the framework of commercial agriculture production.”
Targeted crops are plantain, dasheen, hot pepper, ginger, pineapple and other root crops, fruits and vegetables.
Kent Coipel, Technical Specialist with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture added, “Our emphasis is based on an audit that was undertaken on a number of farms in Dominica to identify the priority areas that we need to address to ensure that these farms are closer to global requirements.”
IICA zoomed in on occupational health and safety, pesticide storage, signage and record keeping to guide farm workers.
The Ministry of the Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security was represented by Permanent Secretary, Dr Reginald Thomas.
He outlined the importance of protecting the handlers, the environment and the food.
Three of those farmers presented with the packages were women.