The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries engaged coconut farmers on Wednesday 11 July 2018 to discuss risk mitigation in coconut production and provide important information regarding combating pests which affect this crop.
The workshop entitled ‘Entomological Risk Mitigation’ was hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the International Trade Center.
Agriculture students of the Dominica State College joined coconut farmers, extension officers and Quarantine personnel at the Newtown Primary School where the workshop was held.
This workshop, as per CARDI’s Dominica representative, Dorian Ettiene forms part of a regional coconut project dubbed ‘Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean’ which has been ongoing for the past four years.
“During that time we have built capacity in a number of areas and today we are building capacity in risk mitigation. And this is not an afterthought, it was part of the project from the inception,” Ettiene stated.
Ettiene revealed that Agriculture Minister, Reginald Austrie has emphasized the need to manage the aspects of agriculture that pose very serious risks to the island, especially pest management.
“This workshop is designed to address pest management, because in coconut production we are exposed to some pests. We were in the field last week, and the level of mite and scale infestation on the coconuts is quite alarming,” he informed.
Ettiene, who further described the workshop as timely, said it will assist all those involved in coconut farming in reducing the vulnerability and threat which this sector is exposed to.
“So this workshop is very timely, because we have coconuts in the field. They were not so much affected because they are young,” Ettiene added.