Coconut farmers, producers and agricultural stakeholders are being trained on the production of quality coconut planting material, through a one day workshop.
The workshop, which convened at the Fort Young Hotel, is organized by the CARDI and funded by the European Union.
CARDI’s Project Manager and consultant, Dr. Compton Paul stated that while the workshop will focus on selecting and producing quality planting material, the entire project comprises of four components.
“The first component of the project is in the hands of the International Trade Centre (ITC). They have to look at the value chain of coconut within the region. They have employed a number of consultants to look at that and have went to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Guyana and we look at what needs to be develop in the value chain of coconut”.
Dr. Paul informed that the second component of the project entails all aspects of good agricultural practices of coconuts.
“It also covers integrated pest management and it has some aspects of marketing. The third component deals with quite a lot of marketing. You cannot do anything in any commodity without looking at marketing and consumer needs and demands”.
He added that the fourth component has to do with risk assessment which CARDI.
“We will be looking at risk mitigation in terms of climate. We have a hurricane problem here in the region and we have to look at those risks.”
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Harold Guiste welcomed the workshop and project.
“I am very glad to see that such a project is going to be implemented in Dominica and in the region,” as he has been “very concerned” about the coconut industry here in Dominica.
“In my opinion, the coconut industry was dying, we had several very tall trees that nobody could harvest, the yields were very small and in the last 25 years I have not seen any new coconut fields planted anywhere in the country,” Mr Guiste explained.
“Urgent rehabilitation of the industry is needed in Dominica. Coconut is used for coconut water, virgin coconut oil and there are other parts of the tress that can be used such as the leaves and trunk,” he added.