Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2021. 6:12 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Toledo Coconut Growers Co-operative Society Limited is now officially registered with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Cooperatives.
The registration ceremony was held at the Julian Cho High School Auditorium in the Dump area of Toledo on Thursday morning.
“The new co-operative will now be able to seek banking services, and be further assisted by the Department of Co-operatives,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) in a press release.
“The provision of Agriculture Extension Services should also be enhanced. This new co-operative has the potential to be impactful in the burgeoning coconut industry.”
According to MAFSE, the coconut industry had a global market size valued at US$11.5 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach US$31.1 billion by 2026.
Coconut products including coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, desiccated coconut, coir, and copra have a wide range of applications in the food & beverages and cosmetic & personal care industries.
“Coconut oil is widely consumed by the cosmetics industry for manufacturing products and for hair and skincare applications such as hair oils and soaps,” said MAFSE.
“Many manufacturers use coconut oil in packaged food products, and many consumers use it for cooking products, such as sweets, fried foods, and smoothies. There is a huge global demand for coconut oil in the cosmetics industry and an increase in its popularity in food applications is likely to drive the coconut oil market.”
The MAFSE statement said the involvement of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in the development of the coconut industry in Belize has been instrumental.
CARDI was presented at the ceremony by Country Representative Omaira Avila.
Among those people present at the ceremony were the members of the Toledo Coconut Growers Co-operative, Oscar Requena, Toledo West Area Representative and Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government; Servulo Baeza, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise; Gareth Murillo, Registrar of Co-operatives; and several other officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, plus invited guests
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