Alcorn State University Extension Program (ASUEP) working closely with (the Quitman County Board of Supervisors, North Delta Mississippi Enterprise Community), the North Delta Produce Growers and Association Mississippi Association of Cooperative has established a fresh vegetable processing facility in Marks (Quitman County), Mississippi, which is the center of the North Delta Mississippi Enterprise Community. Under this agreement, Alcorn State University’s Cooperative Extension Program has provided the leadership in the establishment of a facility.
The Cooperative Extension Program will also work closely with the North Delta Produce Growers Association into other areas to include farmers in all of the targeted counties in the North Delta Mississippi Enterprises Community, which is a federal rural designation. This facility will serve as a value-added processing, assembly-line and temporary storage facility for fresh vegetable that are either ready for immediate consumption or prepared for additional processing.
This facility will be used to assist farmers in vegetable production practices through demonstrations, workshops and seminars. The facility will also be used to educate farmers on sanitation, post harvest handling techniques and also help to expand marketing opportunities for present and prospective vegetable farmers in the North Delta.
The purpose of the center is to establish a vegetable processing and packing facility that will allow small farmers in the North Delta area to produce commercial vegetables in order to diversify their farm operation and to improve their marketing potentials.
The potential vegetable market outlets include the casinos, state institutions and wholesale/retail produce clients in Memphis, Chicago, St. Louis and other produce outlets within 300 to 500 miles of Marks, Mississippi.
Sustainable Horticulture Systems Planned Program
The knowledge area of the planned program if as follows:
- Food technologies – Educational workshops seminars and demonstrations activities conducted at the Mark processing facility to:
- Establish a value-added processing, assembly and temporary storage facility for fresh vegetables that is either ready for immediate consumption or prepared for additional processing.
- Conduct an on-going training program for members of the cooperative engaged in the commercial vegetable production program.
- Introduce small farmers to the latest technology available in alternative agricultural enterprise.
ASUEP Staff Members
Dr. Franklin Chukwuma
Project Director/Specialist- Horticulture