The momentum for the Caribbean coconut industry is set to continue. The European Union (EU), the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) announced today in Bridgetown, Barbados, the continuation of the Alliances for the Coconut Industry Development Expansion and Enhanced Support for the Caribbean project (Coconut II), which aims to ensure that the region reaps greater economic benefits from the growing international trade in coconuts.
Funded by the European Union, the project, which will run until 2023, will be implemented by ITC in partnership with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and other regional and national partners.
Coconuts II follows a successful first project phase in which partners pledged investment worth more than $40 million into the establishment of nurseries, product development and processing. The project also aims to enable the participating Caribbean states to capitalize on rapidly growing global demand for coconuts. The global trade in coconut water alone is projected to grow by more than 25 % in next five years.
Central to the project will be empowering family farmers across the Caribbean with relevant knowledge and production skills aimed at boosting their competitiveness to improve their access to local, regional and global value chains.
In addition, the project partners will be working with governments, farmers and exporters to overcome technical, structural and financial bottlenecks preventing the Caribbean region from fulfilling its coconut export potential.
Since 2015, funded by the European Union, ITC and CARDI have been working with partners across the Caribbean to revive the coconut by building and strengthening alliances and partnership along the value chain. In addition to bringing in investments, the productive and commercial capacities of farmers and producers have been improved allowing for better capture of value addition. Building on the Alliances for Action model, an inclusive and participatory approach, Coconut II aims to continue replicating and strengthening the partnerships model across the Caribbean region and scale up impact.
The launch of Coconuts II was held at the George Washington House in Bridgetown, Barbados on 20 September 2019. Attendees included Hon Mia Mottley, QC, MP, Prime Minister of Barbados; Mr Stefano Manservisi, Director General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission; Mr Percival Marie, Director-General, CARIFORUM; Ms Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC); and Mr. Barton Clarke, Executive Director, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). More than 50 representatives from the public and private sector also attended the event.
Countries participating in Coconuts II: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada (Phase II), Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago
About Alliances for Action – Alliances for Action (A4A) is a participatory partnership model implemented by ITC that engages smallholder farmers and MSMEs in order to manage risk and facilitate networks that provide the required technical expertise and capacity building. A4T targets catalytic investment to address systemic challenges.
About ITC – The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.