Coconut industry a ‘big deal’ in NAREI’s 2017 programme

Ageing coconut groves and a sharp reduction of investment in cultivation had caught the industry off guard in the wake of the increased regional demand for coconut and its by-products.

A First Quarter review seen by this newspaper earlier this week from NAREI said that it had completed construction of coconut nurseries at Wakenaam, Mon Repos and Pomeroon. The Review says that the industry is also seeking to cope with what it says is “strong competition among local agro-processors.”

NAREI says that nuts are now continually being grown for planting material while Guyana has imported “elite coconut planting materials from Brazil and Mexico.” The Institute also anticipates that an additional 5,000 acres of coconut plantations will be established within the next five years.

Last year the Government of Guyana launched what it described as a National Coconut Development Roadmap at a time when a survey revealed that there were almost 1500 coconut farmers in Guyana. At the launch, NAREI Chief Executive Officer Oudho Homenauth had said that private coconut farmers also had a role to play in helping to access quality planting material for the sector. Homenauth had also alluded to the need for upgrading processing technology, providing training and lending technical support to small scale entrepreneurs for the manufacture of value-added products.

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