General Manager of Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA), Gregoire Thomas, has said the company is seeking ways to redevelop the cocoa industry in order to improve economic livelihoods in Dominica.
Thomas spoke at the launch of a 3-part video series highlighting best practices of cocoa production developed by Dominica Cocoa Cluster Development project which was held at DEXIA’s conference room on the Bayfront in Roseau.
“DEXIA as the facilitator, we have been able to coordinate with all those various players to achieve a common objective which is the redevelopment of the cocoa sector and to look at ways and means that we can improve the economic livelihoods,” he said. “We have seen what happened to other crops, especially our tree crops, citrus and all the challenges that we had with citrus, even mangoes and fruit plies, but I believe that cocoa presents an opportunity to us.”
According to Thomas, under the project, DEXIA has been able to focus on certain areas of improvement.
“The volumes that we are looking at are the acreages,” he stated. “We are looking under the project to establish 200 acres of cocoa and we are doing that in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, they have a major part to play with regards to the propagation of some of the planting material.”
Thomas added, “They also have as part of their programme, a rehabilitation programme.”
He explained that DEXIA is at a stage right now where the small amounts of cocoa that are produced locally are insufficient to satisfy the needs of their clients.
“So it means that we need to intensify our efforts locally,” Thomas remarked.
Posted below is the first episode of a documentary entitled, Cocoa: A New Journey which illustrates best practice of sustainable cocoa production in Dominica. As an award-winning destination for fine flavoured cocoa, the Cocoa Cluster Project collaborated with GIZ to provide support for field rehabilitation across the island. Aspects of the rehabilitation work is detailed including propagation, crop establishment