Our Readers' Opinions
April 29, 2016
Caribbean fruits in high demand

Even as farmers in the Eastern Caribbean continue to feel the negative effects of the drastic fall-off in banana exports, there are indications in export markets of possibilities for other fresh fruits from the region.{{more}}

Two of these in particular are now in high demand in both North America and the United Kingdom, with the potential for rapid growth. Soursop has earned a big reputation as a ‘cancer killer’ and has become very popular on account of its health benefits. Its medicinal properties in treating tumours and also in prevention have boosted the consumption of this fruit. It is said to be many times stronger in attacking and killing cancer cells than chemotherapy.

The soursop plant is native to Latin America and the Caribbean. It contains an active ingredient, acetogenin, mostly concentrated in the leaves, which can be used to regulate blood sugar and to treat diabetes. It is also used to treat numerous disorders, such as those of the liver, kidney, prostate, ovary, thyroid, pancreas, intestines, gall bladder and appendix. It is also reputed to be effective against dust mites, which cause asthma and bronchial disorders.

Increased consumption has resulted in rising imports by the USA, but given the fruit fly problem in the Caribbean, only Grenada has been able to take advantage so far.

AVOCADO BOOM IN UK

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, the United Kingdom is described by a leading newspaper there, as being “in the grip of an avocado boom” (TELEGRAPH, April 20, 2016).

The growing awareness of the health benefits of avocado has boosted its popularity among consumers there. It is a high-calorie, high-fat food, but its fat is of the “good” type, as the fruit can lower cholesterol. Sales have been skyrocketing and last year avocados surpassed oranges in the quantity sold, 44 million. Between March 2015 and March 2016, avocado sales in the UK topped 128 million pounds sterling and earlier this month the cheapest ones on British supermarket shelves were priced at just under one pound each (Morrisons 88 pence, Sainsburys 89 pence).

This ought to be heartening news for our farmers with possibilities of taking advantage of these openings.