Coconut Board attempting to grow industry
The Coconut Industry Board (CIB) will be undertaking measures in the new financial year aimed at expanding the industry.
The entity is looking to acquire property at Water Valley in St Mary or in another location to establish a new seed garden, nursery and farm that will facilitate the construction of coconut water and oil factories.
In addition, the organisation will set 400,000 coconut seeds, with an anticipated germination rate of 50 per cent (200,000), distribute 100,000 coconut seedlings to qualified farmers, and plant at least 20 acres of coconut trees from approximately 4,000 seedlings.
In addition, the CIB aims to export a minimum of 60,000 seed coconuts at an estimated gross revenue of $24.57 million, up from earnings of $22.88 million from 57,500 seed coconuts in 2018.
Meanwhile, the board's research department will seek to create high-yield and disease-resistant coconut palm varieties through the use of molecular techniques and tissue culture.
This is in response to operational and environmental challenges facing the industry, such as disease and pest infestation of the trees and nuts, unpredictable weather and natural disasters, increased price inputs, and praedial larceny.