Amid increasing demand for byproducts, the Ministry of Agriculture is to hold a conference for the coconut industry on Monday.
A release today from the ministry said that it is expected that stakeholders including those from the coconut water industry, coconut oil mills, copra producers, and other value added by-products producers across the country will attend the conference.
The release added that the coconut industry is an important component of an “aggressive” initiative by the government to diversify agriculture.
It said that the coconut industry has been identified as one of the sectors with a large potential for further development.
“We have recognized that the industry has yet to reach its full potential not only in terms of productive efficiency but also with regards to the high value added products that use coconut as their base. One of the reasons for the initial decline of the coconut industry was the widely discredited misinformation campaign with coconut oil about cholesterol, heart disease and fat content. It is now accepted that coconut oil reduces harmful fats and improves the immune system of humans”, the release added.
The release said that the Government of Guyana has therefore initiated a “coordinated approach” towards the revitalization and development of the coconut industry in partnership with the private sector, the donor community and others.
The release provided export data to show that the tonnes of dry coconut exported had risen from 7,882 tonnes to 8,413 tonnes up to November last year. Crude coconut oil exports were 357 tonnes in 2011 and 334 tonnes up to November last year. Exports of coconut water were sharply down. From the figures presented, the big demand seems to be for dry coconuts.
The January 14 workshop starts at 9.30 am in the large boardroom of the Ministry of Agriculture.