Workshop for cocoa farmers tomorrow

Several Caribbean countries are involved in the production of fine and flavour cocoa that is traded in a niche market at premium prices and is sought after by the manufacturers of dark chocolates and other speciality products.  The local and regional cocoa industries have a strong reputation for quality.  However, their full potential is not being realised since production levels have declined over many years and producers do not have the economic incentives to expand production.

CDE is an ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific)/European Union (EU) joint institution created to support the development of the private sector in ACP countries (website: http://www.cde.int). The overall goal of this project, Caribbean Fine Flavour Cocoa Industry Commercialisation, is to address the challenges faced by fine/flavour cocoa producers in the Caribbean, particularly those of declining production and low productivity as well as food safety and other quality concerns. In addition, the project will promote the development of value-added products and agri-tourism associated with cocoa production.

A diagnostic phase of the project was conducted from February, 2010 to July, 2010 by the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour Le Développement (CIRAD), as the Lead Consultant, with support from local consultants from each of the seven participating Caribbean countries, viz., Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Based on findings of a report compiled at the end of the diagnostic phase, CDE has developed a three-year project to address the challenges affecting the regional cocoa industry. The Cocoa Research Unit (CRU) has been selected as the lead consultant for the initial step of the project – “Communication, Mobilisation and Institutional Strengthening” involving CIRAD and the seven Caribbean territories. The key activity in this initial step is to communicate and advise stakeholders on the findings of the diagnostic stage, the expectations for and obligations to the project and investments required as well as to mobilise their participation.

This workshop will target local stakeholders in the Commonwealth of Dominica including producer groups, private sector nurseries, processors, quality certifiers, trainers, artisan manufacturers and agro-tourism operators as well as the Cocoa Industry Board, Ministry of Agriculture and other research and funding organisations.  The workshop is carded for 17th March 2011 at the National Development Foundation of Dominica from  9:00am -1:00 pm.

The expected outcome of this Workshop is as follows:
•    Greater awareness by the relevant Government agencies, the resident European Union Delegation and the private sector of the status of the local cocoa industry and of the CDE programme;
•    Organisations will be made fully aware of the investment required for the project and can begin planning their investments;
•    The beneficiaries of the project will be
Nurseries (Component 1)
Laboratories (Component 2)
Value Added Products (Component 3)
Agri-Tourism (Component 5)
•    Demonstration farms for Farmer Field School training will be selected, farmers advised of their responsibilities and schedules planned;

At the end of the Workshop, Declaration of support letters from each institution with responsibility for implementation of a specific component will be invited.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 16, 2011

    That cocoa looking healthy oui!! It would make a good snack!!

  2. U CAN'T BE SERIOUS
    March 16, 2011

    Wish I had more notice of this workshop; I’d love to be there. Hope many young people attend. The world is facing a coco shortage and it’s a great opportunity for Dominicans to learn as much as possible about this industry and get onboard this train early. I know DA produces some great coco and this might be the chance to diversify into a developing source of income for all. Good luck to all who attend.

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