Cocoa making come back says Drigo

cocoaMinister for Agriculture Johnson Drigo has said the cocoa industry in Dominica has made a “come back” and the first phase of a new cocoa sweating and drying facility in Marigot is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Drigo said at the second of a series of post budget meetings held at the Salybia Government School last night that the facility will process wet cocoa.

“A new cocoa sweating and drying facility is under construction in Marigot. It will process wet cocoa beans for local consumption and for export [and] the first phase estimated at $257,000 is to be completed by August 2015,” he said.

He noted that many farmers from across the island are returning to cocoa.

“Ladies and gentlemen cocoa has made a come back in Dominica,” he said. “A number of famers have returned to farming cocoa. Acreage that were abandoned and overgrown by the forest are being pruned, rehabilitated, and properly managed for increased production.”

He said a project dubbed the ‘Cocoa Expansion Project’ is coming on stream and will cost $1-million.

The Minister revealed that government is presently investing in a mist propagation system for the propagation of cocoa by cuttings at a soon to be rehabilitated hardening facility at Londonderry.

“Work is presently ongoing in that regard,” he noted.

In March of this year, the Cocoa Rehabilitation Project which is funded by the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) for the purchase of pruning tools and other equipment required for good husbandry practices geared towards enhancing the industry was embarked upon.

The project aims to increase cocoa production on the island for both local consumption and export.

Recently Dominican, Gabriel Christian, announced that his chocolate brand, Chocolat de la Dominique, has partnered with a US firm to build a state of the art cocoa industry in Dominica.

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13 Comments

  1. Ideal
    August 17, 2015

    This is good. Dominicans stop drinking cocoa tea because they prefer the processed Milo and ovaltine, Doctors in North America are encouraging people to go back to the real cocoa now. Our parents and grands and great grands always drank the real thing. Listen to all our centurians on our island and they will tell you cocoa tea was always in the diet..IT IS GOOD FOR US.

  2. Annon
    August 15, 2015

    This is very good to hear. I strongly encourage involving of business minded and interested Dominicans in this endeavor, otherwise it has failed, you can’t go this alone. I have an acre of healthy Cocoa waiting to increase prodution.

    “Shame On Us”….. Please gov’t ministers and interested people, read this on the importance of agriculture from a Jamaican billionaire who is mainly into tourism and finance, it rings true for Dominica:
    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Shame-on-us—-Lee-Chin-_18477768

  3. Danziger
    August 15, 2015

    Hope those lazy lazar will work hard now.

  4. Affa
    August 15, 2015

    Dominica’s salvation IS in agriculture. Bring back the Small Farmer. This will greatly increase employment in the rural areas, not everyone wants to be in the service industry, they may all have to move to Roseau.

  5. %
    August 15, 2015

    Drigo you could not even give a report on your ministry during the last budget debate. Why Can’t You Shut The Hell Up!!! You shoul just continue being Moo Moo!

  6. The Real Facts
    August 14, 2015

    The products which are grown in D/ca’s fertile soil are not without reasons. They are nutritious. Cocoa is an excellent commodity.
    In those days, when having breakfast, the warm cocoa tea with a little milk and sugar I drank was stimulating. Thinking of this healthy tea makes my mouth water. :)
    Yes! Bring back D/ca’s products for sale in D/ca and if possible for export.
    Good luck in this endeavor.

  7. new york dominica
    August 14, 2015

    jack u sing for it so much right now your feet not in oil u crying

  8. eyes opened
    August 14, 2015

    How many acres were under production last year compared to this?
    How many pounds/tons do we expect for production this year?
    How much do we consume locally, on average, so that we can ensure we are planting enough for export?

  9. Francisco Telemaque
    August 14, 2015

    We only talk about a comeback if the thing was out of fashion.

    The cocoa plant and the beans never left Dominica, it never went out of fashion, it simply took a back seat to the Banana industry, but if someone ensured it export to Europe, as in the forty’s, and early 1950’s it would have remained a source of revenue to a lot of people.

    The cocoa bean has always been there, for as long as I am residing out of Dominica, be it in Germany, England, or the United States, all I do is tell my late sister Barbara to send me some processed cocoa. I drank it when I am cold, now that she has passed on, I might have to ask my nephew Hansey, to send it to me.

    In any event, chocolate is consumed internationally, if someone set up a chocolate processing business, and find an export market even in the Caribbean that could bring plenty of money into the country, we have to look beyond local consumption only!

    • Affa
      August 15, 2015

      Here’s the opportunity for you to invest and employ many Dominicans … money where mouth is. No excuses please. Thanks sir.

  10. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 14, 2015

    Drigo should be one of the most vibrant ministers in this government, leading our efforts in agriculture. Instead, he’s moo-moo most of the time. Coconut oil has and continues to make a huge comeback in the international market. Cocoa futures are being traded quite well on the commodities stock exchange. I need to hear more from Drigo instead of Ian, Blackmoore and Austrie. There three ministers are the worst in this regime.
    Instead of Ian talking foolishness about the Arab Spring and a guest house that cannot finish, I need Drigo to outline how many tons of cocoa we plan to export by year’s end and the revenues to be earned from the sale of this crop.

  11. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 14, 2015

    Finally, de moo-moo is on the right track.

  12. Jack
    August 14, 2015

    Keep up the good job, plant more cocoa and coffee we can get out of poverty, raise more chickens and pigs, so we can stop singing for our supper. The pm is now telling people the truth at the town hall meetings. We have no more time to waste we have a nation to build time is not on our side, lets all get to work together.

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