Dominica’s Export Import Agency, DEXIA, says it is set to embark on a program to revive and grow the cocoa industry as of next month.
The development plan for this process is said to involve a number of local stakeholders.
General Manager of DEXIA, Gregoire Thomas, spoke with Dominica Vibes regarding the agency’s approach to the subsector.
“What we have done, in collaboration with Compete Caribbean, is to develop a Cluster Development Plan for the cocoa sector. And that involves quite a bit of capacity-building, we had a number of stakeholders involved in training, in understanding how clusters would work.”
Gregoire went on to explain the funding received, “We had an opportunity to present the plan to a panel of judges sometime in July of this year, and we were successful, we were granted an award for USD$ 200,000 to assist in the cocoa sector.
“We have a number of local stakeholders, like the Ministry of Agriculture, Bureau of Standards, and a number of the cocoa farmers are also involved in that whole process.”
Thomas, says DEXIA is looking to work with every factor relevant to the cocoa sector.
He said, “Soon we will begin implementation of the project. We will have a cluster manager in place next week, in December, and it is a 24-month program. Over the life of the project, there will be a number of different areas that we will be targeting in terms of improvement of the cocoa sector.”
Thomas went on, “Production is an aspect, where in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, we hope to establish during the life of the project some 200 acres of cocoa.