The goal of the project is to strengthen the competitiveness of vegetable farmers in the Caribbean engaged in the production and later the export of fresh vegetables and herbs through the use PA. The central objective of the project is to pilot and expand the use of protected agriculture PA systems through capacity building and infrastructure enhancement. Through the strategy of adapting and transferring PA technologies to vegetable farmers and other stakeholders in Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, the project will develop and intensify food production and security on the limited land available. This should increase the regularity of supplies and at the same time enhance the capacity to manage the quality and regulatory (both public and private) requirements of the markets, which are becoming more stringent, particularly with regard to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, including traceability. A complementary goal is to develop improved production and marketing tools, including more integrated PA production and marketing information systems and database, accessible to all stakeholders. The project started in late 2010 and has been identified as a priority of the EU-AAACP commodities programme for the Caribbean.
The project progress is according to scheduled. Most demonstration infrastructure (greenhouses) have been constructed or are close to finalization. At the same time a market analysis for greenhouse produce has been undertaken and farmers are being trained in the complex management of greenhouse vegetable production. The project has begun to establish direct market linkages with hotels/resorts fast food chains etc, which are willing to pay premium prices for fresh local vegetables in order to demonstrate the economic viability of investment into greenhouses. In Haiti, implementation on the ground only commenced at the end of 2011 due to the difficult circumstances resulting from the recent earthquake. Project activities are adapted to the prevailing circumstances and focus on maximum food supply.