NON-SUGAR sector producers are reluctant to enter commercial farming because there is no crop insurance scheme available to assist them if crops are damaged by natural disasters.
This is the word from Nature's Way Co-operative CEO Michael Brown.
"A couple of commercial exporters of papaya are having problems with reviving their business because of the effects of the three natural disasters and they've lost a lot of investment," he said.
"Because there is no crop insurance scheme in the non-sugar sector, such exporters are very discouraged to do business due to the effects of natural disasters on their business."
Mr Brown said a significant decrease in produce exports was expected immediately after the two natural disasters last year but what was worrying was the slow recovery in production and export volume.
Despite the sluggish trend, he said he was optimistic export levels would improve.
"From April this year, the industry has picked up momentum in exports and production is slowly on the rise but has yet to reach full capacity.
"As new plantings come into production, the throughput should increase further. The rise in export is indicated by the July to September export figures."
Nature's Way processed 9.5 tonnes of produce in the first quarter of the year. This increased to 99.2 tonnes for the months of April to June and went up further to 253 tonnes for the three months ending September.