The Cayman Islands Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is working to establish direct agricultural trade links with Honduras with the aim of enhancing the islands’ food and nutrition security.
This follows an exploratory mission to Honduras last week led by the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. Jay Ebanks, Chief Officer Eric Bush, other government officials and members of the private sector.
During the visit, the team met with Bader Dip, Mayor of La Cieba and his council to discuss trade with the Cayman Islands. Discussions were also held with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Atlántida as well as with various cross-industry business leaders.
Commenting on the visit to Honduras, Minister Ebanks said it was a successful exploratory mission to establish trade relations between the two countries. “We are largely dependent on the United States for our fruits, produce and other goods. With the cost of living rising, the government is committed to exploring various avenues to ease the burden on Cayman Islanders,” a- he declared.
We are looking to establish and promote a direct sea route between the Cayman Islands and Honduras later this year. In order to diversify our food sources in line with our food and nutritional security policy, Honduras is one of the countries targeted because of its proximity and its strong cultural ties. They can provide agricultural products and other value-added products that are fresh, inexpensive, nutritious and of high quality. We have a direct air route with them, so the next logical step is to establish a sea route between the countries.
The Minister added/
Chief Officer Eric Bush noted that expanding intra-regional trade is critical to Cayman’s food security and economic stability. “The ministry will work closely with the private sector to determine the needs of the islands and to help and support logistics to make the commercial bridge as smooth and effortless as possible,” he stressed.
While in Honduras, the delegation also attended a Chamber of Commerce exhibition in La Ceiba, visited several dairy farms, meatpacking plants, an aggregate plant in San Pedro Sula and the Port of Cortes. They also visited the port of Cabotaje in La Ceiba.
Earlier in May, the Ministry of Agriculture approved an expanded list of agricultural products that can be imported into the Cayman Islands under a new import and export agreement with Jamaica. The products added to the list are plantain, breadfruit, soursop as well as bleached and frozen ackee.