Wednesday, May 20th, 2015. BMG: In recent years, the demand for fresh coconut produce and coconut based health and beauty products have skyrocketed on both the regional and world markets but many coconut producing Caribbean countries have been unable to satisfy the growing demand.
To combat this problem and help maximize revenues grossed from the coconut sector by countries like Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Belize and Suriname, the European Union funded the “Coconut Industry development in the Caribbean” project.
This project is set to continue later this month with the second phase which will involve project partners including the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Geneva based International Trade Centre (ITC).
The meeting with stakeholders is geared at formulating road maps for market led development of the coconut and coconut products sectors. Using a participatory approach, along with specialists from outside and within the region, project countries will come up with road maps to address critical areas such as market options, production and productivity, support services and the policy environment among other areas.
Key players in the industry’s growth and development, such as the Development banks and potential financing partners will also be invited to participate in the gathering.
CARDI Executive Director, Bruce Lauckner is happy for the support to revitalize the coconut industry in the Caribbean and said it has “significant potential to contribute to economic development and poverty reduction in the benefitting countries.” The “Coconut Industry development in the Caribbean” project is valued at 3.5 million Euros and is aiming to enhance the competitiveness of small scale coconut farmers and will be implemented in the CARIFORUM countries of Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Belizean stakeholders of the industry will meet at the George Price Centre in Belmopan to develop their roadmap on the 27th and 28th of May, 2015.
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