Dominica has benefited from a $200,000 project to help in the development of its cocoa sector.
A meeting was held at the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) on Thursday to bring together stakeholders to ensure a proactive, integrated approach to the development of the cocoa cluster.
DEXIA in collaboration with Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) recognized the cocoa industry’s contribution to food security, the rural economy, sustainable livelihoods and employment.
Furthermore, cocoa enables environmental sustainability and agro-entrepreneurship.
The Dominica Cocoa Cluster Development Project was therefore formed with the aim of improving the developmental areas to include: access to data, pre and post-harvesting activities to attain high-quality beans, product transformation and development, and marketing and labelling of cocoa products and services.
A project stakeholder meeting was held last week at DEXIA conference room.
General Manager of DEXIA, Gregoire Thomas, said the company submitted proposals to Compete Caribbean to participate in a bid for proposals and “we were successful, and Compete Caribbean with the support of the equivalent of $200,000 worth of support for the cocoa sector and we want to thank them for supporting and helping us in that journey to move the cocoa sector forward”.
He added, “We started from about 2008 and we have continued doing work looking at how it is that we can expand and develop the cocoa sector.”
According to Thomas, with the support of donors and collaboration, cocoa can be made a flagship.
“I believe now we have an excellent opportunity with the collaboration and the support of donors by Compete Caribbean to make cocoa a flagship, make it a model that we can use with the other crops that we provide support to and let’s look at the livelihood, how do we improve the economic livelihood of rural people,” he stated.