CARDI pushing coconut industry in Linden
(Guyana Chronicle) THE Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) held its 2018 ‘CARDI DAY’ in the mining town of Linden under the theme, “Celebrating the potential of the region’s coconut industry”.
The event saw the hosting of several activities geared towards educating students in Linden, particularly those pursuing agriculture, on the strides made under the EU-ACP funded Regional Coconut Industry Development Project.
Linden’s renowned coconut farmer and agro-processor Owen DeSouza is CARDI’s featured Region 10 farmer and the students were able to experience first-hand, the stages of coconut production, manufacturing of coconut bi-products and the shredding of the coconut husk during a tour of De Souza’s coconut farm and factory. The students then witnessed how virgin coconut oil is produced as well as soaps made of the virgin coconut oil and other agricultural produce grown right on the farm.
During the tour, DeSouza highlighted the uses of several medicinal plants in his farm such as the moringa and how same is also processed into various packaged products.
CARDI representative in Guyana, Dr. Cyril Roberts noted that the coconut industry development project is not only focusing on coconut production, but more importantly, inter-cropping of coconut palms to diversify and generate additional income streams.
“A coconut tree takes different times before it starts to produce coconuts, there are some that come in 18 months, some that come in three years, some that come in five years and when you plant it, the space in between the trees is generally about 20 feet. We feel that waiting that long and having that space, it can be better utilised, so we are encouraging farmers to instead of trying to weed the space, to plant different things in there, they can plant crops that take a little while to grow and they can plant cash crops, so this is a demonstration on how we can maximise the space within a coconut farm,” Roberts related.
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