The Potato and Onion Producers’ Association of Jamaica (POPA) is composed of 19 members, who are the major traders in the marketplace of potatoes and onions, both strategic crops for the country. As traders/importers and representatives of the private sector, they have been working to support the general growth of the potato and onion sector in Jamaica, working together with farmers to improve production within the value chain.
POPA’s mission is to create and increase opportunities for potato and onion growers, and to provide consumers with the highest quality and most competitively price of products in the island. As traders linked to farmers, POPA seeks to represent the voice and the needs of the main producers of potato and onion of Jamaica. POPA is focused on maximizing opportunities for this agro sector to meet growing domestic demand, while increasing their members’ environmental and economic sustainability.
POPA has also been involved as a stakeholder in the “National Irish Potato and Onion Programme” which is part of the Government’s overall strategy to enhance Jamaica’s food and nutrition capacity with the aim of reducing imports, becoming self-sufficient and providing more income for the farmers. At this regard, POPA developed a business model to get involved in the productive sector through the establishment of direct contract with farmers or providing them with inputs (fertilizers) and technical assistance to increase quality and production of their products.
At the same time, the POPA’s members have advocated for policies that include viable risk management tools, encourage best practices, foster a positive public perception of agricultural production, and seek to create additional opportunities to expand the efficiencies of locally grown potatoes and onions.