CARDI continues to work in Belize’s Coconut Industry
Thursday, February 25th, 2016
Belize’s Coconut Industry continues to grow with the assistance of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and financing from the European Union (EU). Most recently, a workshop was held on Thursday, February 25th with CARDI scientists training coconut stakeholders in the “Production of Quality Coconut Planting Material”. These initiatives are being organized under the EU’s “Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean” through the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC) aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale coconut farmers.
According to CARDI representatives in Belize, stakeholders have welcomed this initiative for its “potential to improve income and employment opportunities, food security, and the overall development of the Caribbean coconut sector.” The project creates cooperation between national and regional programs, improving access to advisory services for improved coconut production.
But Belize is not the only one benefiting from the “Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean” project, eight other Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) member countries are also part of the program. Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have all implemented the strategies provided by the program in their local coconut industries.
Throughout 2016, scientists will also be interacting with key stakeholders in the coconut industry of all participating countries conducting activities related to mapping and characterization of local coconut plantations, strengthening producer and processing groups and developing appropriate technological packages for intercropping vegetables and fruits and rearing cattle and small ruminants under coconut trees. “Placing intercrops and animals within coconut plantations increases farm productivity and incomes for producers. The scientists will continue to collect relevant information along all nodes of the coconut industry value chain to be stored within a database being developed at CARDI Headquarters in Trinidad. This database will benefit all coconut stakeholders at the national, regional and international levels. Future activities in the four-year project will target policy directives, certified quality planting material, nursery development, good agricultural practices, integrated pest management, processing for value-addition, marketing, finance and business development, quality assurance and, risk mitigation. In the process, farmers, technicians, extension agents, processors, marketers, and other stakeholders will be trained in various coconut production and processing technologies,” says CARDI.
The development of the coconut industry in Belize will hopefully strengthen the country’s agriculture industry, which is one of its main income producers. For more information, contact Anil Sinha, CARDI Belize at 824-2934 or Dr. Compton Paul, CARDI Headquarters at 1-868-645-1205 or email [email protected]
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