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Plantains, watermelons, limes, pineapples, pumpkins and other locally-
grown non-traditional crops have made headway into a large number of
Regional and extra-Regional markets. The non-traditional crops export
for 2002 was recorded as G$721 million.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Export of non-traditional crops to both Regional and extra-Regional markets increased
from approximately 2,997 tonnes of produce in 1997 to 4,111 tonnes in 2002.
Exports to Regional markets have increased significantly each year from 883 tonnes in
1997 to 1,861 tonnes in 2002 while export to extra-Regional markets increased from 2,113
tonnes to 2,249 tonnes.
The Regional markets include Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St.
Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Extra-Regional markets
include Canada, France, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Suriname, the
Netherlands and West Germany.
Guyana exports more than 35 non-traditional products to Barbados and at the same time
Canada is importing more commodities from Guyana than any other extra-regional country.
From January to December 2002, Canada imported 389 tonnes of non-traditional
agricultural produce, which includes both fresh and processed products. Some products
exported to Canada last year are genip, awara, banana, bora, boulanger, mango, hot pepper,
saeme, sapodilla, squash, poi, breadfruit, dried thyme, plantain and pineapple.
In 2002, Canada imported 222 tonnes of mangoes, 40 tonnes of bora, 19 tonnes of
saeme, 16 tonnes of hot pepper, 12 tonnes of pineapples, 9 tonnes of genip, 7 tonnes of
squash, 6 tonnes of boulanger, 5 tonnes of sapodilla, 5 tonnes of awara, 5 tonnes banana,
3 tonnes of poi calaloo, 3 tonnes of mamey and 3 tonnes of dried thyme among other items
Barbados imported 663 tonnes of produce from Guyana last year which include
watermelon, cucumber, coconut, cabbage, bora, avocado, eddo, lime, cassava, coffee beans,
grapefruit, orange, passion fruit, pumpkin, tomatoes, tangerine and plantains.
During 2002, Barbados imported 286 tonnes of plantains, 127 tonnes of pineapples, 90
tonnes of watermelons, 63 tonnes of limes, 38 tonnes of pumpkins, 10 tonnes of cucumbers,
7 tonnes of oranges, 6 tonnes of bora, 6 tonnes of eddoes, 4 tonnes of passion fruit, 4
tonnes of tomatoes, 4 tonnes of dry coconuts and 3 tonnes of boulanger among other items
It is anticipated that the export of non-traditional crops will continue to grow during this
Some 293 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables were exported from Guyana to Barbados
for the first four months of last year while for the corresponding period this year, 320 tonnes
were exported, which shows an increase of 27 tonnes.
General Manager of New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC), Mr. Nizam Hassan
said that plantain has been ranked the highest on the list of non-traditional crops exported
from Guyana to Barbados in 2002. He explained that out of the 699 tonnes total exports to
Barbados of non-traditional crops, 315 tonnes were plantains. In 2001, out of the overall
export of 498 tonnes 281 tonnes were plantains.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
He added that plantains still remain at the top of the list for the first four months of this
year, with 320 tonnes exported for this period to Barbados.
Mr. Hassan pointed out that watermelon is now the second-ranked fruit produce to be
exported from Guyana to Barbados while lime is in third place. It was noted that during 2002
watermelon was ranked third while limes were in the fourth place. In 2002, pineapples were
the second-ranked commodity to be exported from Guyana but for the first four months of
this year, it has moved down to the fourth place.
It was noted that one factor that contributed to the increase of non-traditional crops
exports was the establishment of the Central Packaging Facility (CPF). The facility, which
was established in 2001 at the Sophia Exhibition Centre, is being managed by the NGMC.
Several exporters are using the facility to process and package fresh produce for export
on a weekly basis.
Mr. Hassan explained that the building which houses the CPF had to be upgraded to
meet specific standards to be used as the pack-house for the fruits, vegetables and ground
He added that the building was rehabilitated to control rodents and insects. Draining
tables and wash basins were also constructed and the roof was raised to allow better
Mr. Hassan noted that the export of non-traditional crops has attracted substantial
Public exhibitions and awareness programmes also helped to boost exports. The buy
local campaign, which promotes products that are grown and made in Guyana, helped to
increase exports. The buy local campaign has become an annual event whereby several
exhibitions are held in different parts of the country to promote locally-grown and locally-
Mr. Hassan pointed out that a number of seminars were held with farmers and exporters
to educate them about proper handling of commodities to prevent damages. He added that
technical training programmes were also held with farmers and exporters.
The technical projects were conducted by NGMC in collaboration with the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Guyana Economic
Opportunities (GEO) project.
He noted that proper post-harvest techniques were introduced to farmers and it is being
put into practice in several areas. Some post-harvest techniques that were introduced
include sleeping of banana and plantain, waxing of fruits and vegetables, and de-greening
of all types of citrus.
Published by the Government Information Agency (GINA)
Area'B' Homestretch Avenue
D'Urban Backlands, Georgetown.
Copyright C June 2003 GINA