Fruit processing the way to go – Specialist
June 2, 2006
Fruit processing the way to go – Specialist

Processing Specialist at the Taiwanese Technical Mission at Orange Hill, Cheng-Hsueh Chen believes that the processing of local fruit will be the next major economic development for this country.

Chen, who was speaking to several farmers and entrepreneurs attending a workshop on the processing of fruit on Wednesday, May 24, strongly believes that this country should utilise what is grown here.{{more}}

He demonstrated the different ways that the fruits could be candied, dried and juiced and urged interested persons to get into this type of agriculture.

Handing out samples of tasty processed five finger (carambola), juju bee, sweet potato, mango and Passion fruit juice, the Chemical Engineer envisioned this country as being one of the top Caribbean food processors and urged farmers and other interested persons to get on board.

Also reinforcing the sentiment that fruit processing is the way forward was Fruit Tree Crop Supervisor in the Ministry of Agriculture, Michael Dalton.

The Agricultural Officer believes that this country must utilise what it is naturally blessed with.

He explained, “We have a lot of wastage of fruits and the only plausible way to really reduce or eliminate the wastage is to have the fresh product converted into another form that would allow them to be stored over a longer period.”

Dalton stated that products such as juices, canned fruits and jellies were the way forward for this country.

He further explained that consumers were looking for that rich natural fruit taste but with a longer shelf life so that during the “out of season,” the fruit would still be available, without any harsh chemical taste.

The Fruit Tree Crop Supervisor who assumed the post on February 1, confessed that while he loved his job, the most challenging aspect was getting a free flow of information between producers, technocrats and persons involved with marketing the crop.

He admitted that he sees his job as similar to that of a politician where he interfaces with a wide range of people to get the job done. He praised the Taiwanese Mission for their work with agriculture in the country.