Cocoa stakeholders in Dominica will be pleased to hear that the industry will get a $200,000 injection for the cocoa cluster development project.
This comes from Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, a private sector development programme delivering innovative and practical solutions that stimulate economic growth, increase productivity and foster innovation and competitiveness, while promoting economic inclusion.
The Cocoa Cluster Development Program was established in recognition of the cocoa industry’s contribution to food security, the rural economy, sustainable livelihoods and employment.
The Dominica Cocoa Cluster Project was formed to improve access to data, pre and post harvesting activities to attain high-quality beans, and develop marketing and labeling of cocoa products and services.
At the stakeholder meeting on Thursday, project coordinator, Annie Bertrand relayed that Dominica export and import agency (DEXIA)’s project became one of the seven selected out of 10.
” We went through this effort of cluster capacity building, trying to identify business support organizations in the OECS in particular but also other vulnerable places that would be interested the cluster methodology and DEXIA applied for the process through a competition.
So there were 10 BSOs across the region that were selected and they worked together on developing their cluster project. Seven of those projects were selected by the investment panel, a total of 1.2 Million dollars.”
She further stated that Dominica is at an advantage where production is concerned.
“Dominica has a very competitive advantage just because of the beans that we can grow here and the climate and genetic quality of the beans places it at an advantage. The second idea is that the government of Dominica was committed to that sector at that time. There was promise of putting into projection, 300 acres of land and also planting materials would be provided as well as the input required to make sure it was successful.”
Bertrand said that those advantages illustrated that building can be done on the existing effort and interest of the country, bringing technical assistance, making the project more competitive.