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The production of tomato using greenhouses in Grenada

Senator Adrian Thomas - Minister of State, with responsibility for Agriculture, Lands and Forestry

The production of tomatoes in Grenada using greenhouses is one of the discussions now taking place in the country, according to Minister of State, with responsibility for Agriculture, Lands and Forestry, Senator Adrian Thomas.

In an interview with Ambassador for Diaspora Affairs Terry Forrester, host of the weekly NDC Heartbeat programme, Senator Thomas shared his experience on a visit to Azerbaijan, a transcontinental country located along the boundary of Eastern Europe and West Asia.

He said that a Grenada delegation was invited to the country to see what its agriculture is like there, in particular tomato production.

He expressed amazement at the manner in which Azerbaijan has to work and how they used their creativity and innovation to produce tomatoes for the international market.

“Where they are doing this tomato production is semi-desert. The sun is very hot and the soil is very sandy. They have little holding water capacity and they are massive, they are producing a lot of tomatoes for the international market, especially in Europe, and Russia, in particular takes most of their tomato production,” he said.

Minister Thomas noted that while Grenada is small with no room for mass production, countries like Azerbaijan are using the technology and science of greenhouses to export on a wide scale.

“It is amazing what you can get in a small plot of land,” he told the programme host.

Sen. Thomas pointed out that greenhouses and protected agriculture are not a new phenomenon as it has been introduced into Grenada in the past.

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He indicated that a particular individual who is involved in the business came to Grenada and expressed an interest in having his daughter study at St. George’s University (SGU) at True Blue and can foresee them doing business in Grenada in the future.

“They are very much interested in the production of tomatoes using greenhouses. This is a project that has been at my fingertips and I really and truly want Grenada to get into the modernised way of doing agriculture,” he remarked.

According to Sen. Thomas, during the visit to the Asian continent, he had the opportunity to meet with other companies interested in Grenada’s nutmeg, cocoa, and other spices and willing to visit Grenada in January to meet with the other stakeholders.

He disclosed that the state-controlled Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) has a very important role to play in going forward on the issue.

Programme Host and Ambassador Forrester expressed the view that these companies who are willing to come to the island are prepared to share their knowledge, skills and talents “so as a country we can maximise.”

“We need to speed up the whole aspect of production and export and of course, necessary production for the local market but export is key for earning foreign exchange,” Forrester said.

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