Dominica China Agriculture Science Complex Building Commissioned, hub for innovation

The Dominica China Agriculture Science Complex Building was commissioned at the North Agriculture station, Portsmouth on Friday

Dominica China Agriculture Science Complex Building Commissioned, hub for innovation
Dominica China Agriculture Science Complex Building Commissioned, hub for innovation

Roseau, Dominica: The Dominica China Agriculture Science Complex Building was commissioned at the North Agriculture station, Portsmouth on Friday. The over $1 million building is aimed at serving as a hub for innovation, education, research and knowledge exchange in the field of Agriculture.

The facility has been constructed with a partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture of Dominica and the government of the People’s Republic of China. The lab is aimed at enhancing the agriculture sector and introducing Cutting Edge Tissue Culture Technology to develop disease free planting material.

During the commissioning ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit outlined the benefits of the building and added that the facility would aid in reducing the food import bill while also increasing the country’s agriculture output.

“We’re making the strategic investments because we recognize that an increase in agricultural output will mean the creation of more sustainable Agri based jobs, higher incomes, and an enhanced capacity to satisfy the growing food and nutrition demands of our local, regional, and global populations,”said the prime minister.

He said that efforts are also being made to entice young farmers to the sector to secure the future prosperity of the nation.

In addition to that, the new and modern facility is also constructed to meet the agriculture objectives as well as the 2030 sustainable development goals of increased access to innovative technologies and viable agri-food systems.

PM Skerrit further extended gratitude to the government of China and said that the facility marked the strong bond of friendship between the two countries. He stated that the project was made possible with the unwavering commitment and dedication of the Ministry of Agriculture and the bond of Dominica with China.

While terming it a milestone, Prime Minister Skerrit noted, ”The science complex marks another major milestone in our decades-long relationship with the People’s Republic of China and our drive as a government to transform the agricultural economy of Dominica with the regional mandate to reduce our food import bill by 25% by 2025.”

He said that the government of Dominica has been working on the initiative to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP to $700 million by 2030. It would be possible with a wide range of key investments in livestock and crop production, increased access to farms, support to farmers, the use of technology, and grants to small Agriprocessors.

PM Skerrit further recognized the facility as an important factor in revolutionizing several aspects of the agricultural sector and using technology to increase efficiency, productivity, and sustainability in our food production.

Highlighting the development after natural disasters, PM Skerrit added,” You will agree that our extensive investments to return the sector to productivity following the devastation devastating weather events of 2015 and 2017 are the actions of a government that cares about this long-term growth and sustainability.”

He also encouraged the public to embrace the new facility and invited the full participation of local farmers and citizens across Dominica in the endeavour to build stronger food systems that are resistant to climate change and economic adversity.

Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth constituency Fenella Wenham encouraged citizens to use the complex as a place of learning which is modern Agricultural Center.

“There’s a science behind what is done in this Center, which means that much learning has to take place here. A tissue culture lab affords this. Learn from those who have handed you the center and, in this case, this lab, learn from those you will work with in keeping the center and the life thriving as one of science with its attendant methodologies,” noted the Parl Rep.

She further stated that Dominica is emerging as a country with better agricultural produce and that the cooperation can make this centre and laboratory one of the best places for Learning and training others in agriculture.

Chinese Ambassador to Dominica- Chu Maoming said that China remains committed to helping Dominica in the development and modernization of its agriculture sector. He said,” The exchange of notes signed between China and Dominica in 2019 laid the groundwork for this transformative Endeavor showcasing China’s steadfast commitment to bolstering Dominica’s agricultural sector through robust infrastructure development.”

Ambassadore cited that the facility will propel Dominica towards its aspiration of becoming the global center of agriculture residence.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy Roland Royer outlined that with the ministry’s goal of contributing $700 million to the annual GDP by 2030, investments like these are critical.

“There is a need to invest in science and advanced technology. the complex has a total FL space of 4,700 ft, and it encompasses three main areas, namely the tissue culture lab, training and office spaces, and leaving quarters to house the Chinese agriculture mission.”

He further shed light on its benefit and asserted that the lab will introduce cutting-edge tissue culture technology to develop disease-free planting material with the capacity to produce 500,000 seedlings annually.