Caribbean coconut industry to benefit from EDF-funded project

Coconuts in Dominica before Hurricane Maria

The coconut industry in the Caribbean should soon be receiving a further boost as the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is set to finance a second coconut project in the region.

This is according to Programme Manager of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Katja Svensson.

She was speaking at the recent Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Day of activities.

Svensson revealed that on Wednesday, December 5, a decision was made to finance a second coconut project, which will span a period of five years and will have a total budget of €6-million.

She explained that the second project will build on the first one, which concludes at the end of this month. The four-year project, she said, had made significant steps in researching regional and global development in the coconut industry as well as the entire coconut value chain.

“I know there will be focus also on the development of coconut nurseries and also support to multiplication of varieties to increase coconut production efficiency… coconut waste management and the promotion of climate smart practices will also form part of the project activities,” Svensson stated.

Barbados is one of the Caribbean countries earmarked for implementation of the project.

CARDI Barbados representative, Ansari Hosein, in his opening address to mark 44 years since the establishment of CARDI, stressed that the time “is now for agriculture to take a significant role” in the development of Barbados.

He linked the agriculture and tourism sector by noting: “As we seek to develop the tourism industry to increase the numbers of tourists coming to Barbados to spend cash, you must be able to feed them using local products.”

It is unclear if, and how, the coconut industry in Dominica will benefit from that project.

Dominica News Online (DNO) has attempted to contact the Ministry of Agriculture without success thus far. We will continue our efforts to reach agriculture officials for comment.

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8 Comments

  1. Markie
    December 31, 2018

    I would end by saying that its my opinion that the various Aid donors with the full assistance and cooperation of the governments of the Windward Island assisted in killing the banana industry.

  2. Markie
    December 31, 2018

    Continuing from (9) over the years we have imported hundreds of thousands tons of fertilizer, but ts 2017 and we do not have a fertility soil map of the country (10) we lost many millions of dollars paying for shipping dead weight, (11) from the time we started shipping bananas in cartons, we should have used the 40/42 pound box and save many millions in freight cost. (12) what measure were taken to introduce more technology in agriculture, (13) there is the issue of fruit quality, did we make sufficient efforts to ship top quality fruit and ensure we get the best prices on the market. (14) our farm sizes are too small and therefore have very high fixed operating cost, (15) today black sigatoka is more of a challenge to the industry than WTO. Marcus I can give many more reasons, but we always blame others for our demise. we never ever stop to analysis the situation, consider our strength and weakness, and institute appropriate measure to mitigate the effects facing us.

  3. Markie
    December 31, 2018

    Attention Marcus, I am to assume that you have evidence to support WTO with the Dole, etc killed the Caribbean banana industries. There are many other factors which contributed to the demise of the industry. (1) UK joining the EU, (2) there is a term called ” Free Trade” (3) Dole and others were playing by the rules of WTO (4) did the WI government took action to avoid the effects of WTO, (5) did we take action to have a more efficient operated industry, (6) an analysis of the 1987 banana production showed 6400 growers produced 61,620 tons of which 19.6% of the growers produced 79% of the production, the government did’t want to take action to weed out the inefficient growers, (7) during the banana hay days it cost the industry over $1.5 million a year for lost of cartons used by hucksters, the government refuse to allow the industry to implement measure to reduce that loss. (8) could the WI market their bananas in the UK rather than through Geest, (9) to be continued.

  4. Bring back the kidnapped Dominican parrots
    December 30, 2018

    Once upon a time 50 years ago the banana, coconut and lime industry was doing very well in Dominica. There were frequent visits by Geist cargo ships loading up tons of bananas for export to Britain. The Canfield port was in operation 24/7 with the loading of bananas and the farmers were making good money.

  5. Lady Valley
    December 29, 2018

    Our Coconut industry cannot be revived under the DLP government. For us to experience any growth and development, there must be a change in government.

    • Son of Ra
      December 30, 2018

      Oh, but you believe that Mr.Linton and the UWP will do better than the DLP? I am afraid you have no clue about how politics TRULY works.

  6. marcus
    December 29, 2018

    Don’t forget the WTO killed the Caribbean banana/agriculture industry by giving to the big US companies like Dole and the rest.

  7. R. Linton
    December 28, 2018

    Why do we keep showing images of GMO offshoots instead of our healthy indigenous crops? We need to do better as country. We vie for a healthier nation, yet we still allow outside groups with thier western agendas to advice our agricultural path.
    Yes we welcome funding for these projects, but we have to be careful with the who,se, that are funding and whether their interest is in line with ours.
    Lets get seriouse about our food safety.. Train our people to use indigenous plant materials, instead of the crap being introduced to us.

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