Coconut boost for Barbados, Region

More-coconuts-974x365 BGIS

Barbados and the region can have a bustling coconut industry, despite being smaller than major growers such as Indonesia and The Philippines.

This assertion was made by Maurice Wilson, who is the Regional Coconut Industry Coordinator at the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

He was speaking with the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) following the inaugural meeting of the National Stakeholders Platform (NSP) on the coconut industry, recently held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Graeme Hall offices.

Barbados is among 11 CARIFORUM countries participating in a European Union (EU)-funded Caribbean Coconut Industry Development project. The Euro 4 million project, being executed by CARDI, is geared towards enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s coconut industry, thereby ensuring food security, creating jobs and generating revenue.

Mr. Wilson gave an overview of the undertaking, and noted that the Caribbean’s coconut industry was thrown into a tailspin decades ago, after coconut oil was deemed unhealthy. “In the 1970s, the coconut industry in the region virtually collapsed, because there was a soya bean lobby, which indicated that coconut oil was bad for the system.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

Coconut industry benefits from CARDI project

Coconut heaven

Since the implementation of the Caribbean Coconut Industry Development Project two-and-a-half years ago, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has made several strides in improving the local coconut industry through training as well as the establishment of new nurseries among other targeted initiatives.

The four-year project was undertaken through a partnership between CARDI and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with funding provided by the European Union. It was aimed at improving income and employment opportunities, food security, and overall competitiveness of the Caribbean coconut sector.

Participating countries in the project include Jamaica, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Suriname, among others in the region.

According to CARDI country representative for Jamaica Dr Gregory Robin, Jamaica has the most organised coconut industry board in the region and so a partnership was developed with the local Coconut Industry Board, which had established a national stakeholder platform that addresses all the issues along the value chain, from production to the manufacturing of coconut water, oils and soaps.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

 

PM Gonsalves visits Guyana Shop, Bourda Market during CARICOM Summit

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Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines paid a visit to the Guyana Marketing Corporation’ s Guyana Shop on February 17, 2017,  the final day of the Twenty-Eighth Intersessional meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government .

The Prime Minister visited the Guyana Shop after viewing a display that was mounted at the Marriott Hotel during the two-day Meeting.

According to the Guyana Government Information Agency (GINA), the Guyana Shop houses strictly local products that are manufactured or repackaged in Guyana from more than 80 agro-processors. Some of the products that were of the greatest interest to Prime Minster Gonsalves were:

  • Snack foods; (coconut biscuit and salted nuts)
  • Virgin coconut oil
  • Honey
  • Soaps (turmeric and honey, neem and honey)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jam (cherry and guava)
  • Herbal teas; moringa and lemon grass
  • Cassava flour, porridge mix and coconut flour

Dr. Gonsalves was keen to know how the flours were prepared.

At the end of the visit to the Guyana Shop, Dr Gonsalves toured the nearby Bourda Market where he interacted with the vendors.