Jamaica and the Republic of South Africa are to sign a commercial agreement, which will see businesses in both countries collaborating on nutraceuticals, research and development.
The nutraceuticals industry is a growing one and has an estimated worth of just about US$200 billion in 2017.
According to Market and Research, the industry will have an estimated worth of US$285 billion by 2021. Jamaica is hoping to capitalize on a fraction of that market.
The revelation of the collaboration was made by Charge D’Affaires at the South African High Commission Phillip Riley, while addressing a National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) Symposium last week at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.
The agreement will be signed in few days during a visit to South Africa by the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Andrew Wheatley and Director General at NCST, Professor Errol Morrison.
Riley informed that the commercial agreement will supplement the current partnership in place for bi-lateral scientific research on nutraceuticals, which came into effect in 2015.
“The agreement will allow bush medicine to transition into the modern economy,” Riley stated.
He said that this new bi-lateral agreement between both countries, will be looking at how “these plants can feed us better; give us better nutrition; and how we can take those ingredients and commercialise them and turn them into businesses.”
Riley added that the agreement will also involve academia, researchers and business persons.
The symposium was held in collaboration with the Scientific Research Council and the Institute of Jamaica. It was aimed at exposing science and technology to the youth.
It was also held as part of activities to highlight Science and Technology month, which is observed in November.