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Nearly half a billion in sales on Alex platform for small farmers since December

Published:Saturday | March 2, 2024 | 12:08 AM

The Agri–Linkages Exchange (ALEX) platform has generated almost $500 million in sales for small farmers since December 2023.

Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Executive Director, Dr. Cary Wallace, made the disclosure as he addressed the Global Tourism Resilience Conference held recently at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

The ALEX platform, a collaborative initiative between the TEF and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), allows small farmers, usually those with between three and five–acre plots, to connect directly to purchasing managers at hotels.

The platform was key in ensuring food security in the tourism sector during the COVID–19 pandemic.

“In about three years, we achieved a billion dollars in sales on that platform. Between December last year and today, we’ve gone almost half a billion dollars in sales on that platform. That is the rate of growth that we’re seeing … and that’s why Jamaica has been such a success story in our rebound in tourism,” Wallace said.

“It’s about not having to go to the farm. It’s not having to deal with a hundred persons per day coming into their delivery areas, it’s now simply clicking to make a purchase,” he pointed out.

Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with oversight for Skills and Digital Transformation Senator Dr. Dana Morris Dixon in her remarks, noted that the use of innovation such as the ALEX platform plays a key role in building the resilience of the tourism sector.

She noted that through technological solutions, the sector has demonstrated remarkable flexibility, enabling it to navigate through the difficulties brought forth by the pandemic.

Senator Morris Dixon also noted the instrumental support provided by The Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) in bolstering the industry’s adaptability during the disruptions caused by COVID.