British businessman invests in coconut industry

British businessman, Duncan Turnbull and his partners have invested in a 1000-acre estate in the Pomeroon River, the Ministry of Agriculture says.

Turnbull aims to use technology to bolster the value chain and transform the Guyanese coconut industry. The company, Pomeroon Trading Inc., is currently rehabilitating the estate, which was acquired from the Stoll family.

A release from the Ministry said that the company is planting 5000 trees every month and experimenting with innovative intercropping techniques.

National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI)’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Oudho Homenauth said “I met with these guys when they just took over the Stoll Estate from the family. The 1000 acres, which is very significant for the Pomeroon, was operating under capacity. It used to be flourishing but with the decline of the industry years ago, it became semi-abandoned”.

He said that Turnbull and his partners started in the right way. “They are rehabilitating the current estate as well as doing some replanting. It’s an investment we welcome. I believe they will help the estate reach its true potential.”

NAREI will be helping the company in selecting the planting materials that are more suitable for the Pomeroon area and providing training to its 30 workers.

Turnbull said that the estate is building a coconut seedling nursery, which will produce a consistent supply of high-quality seedlings, thereby tackling a key challenge faced by the local coconut industry.

“Existing estates are often ageing and unproductive: without the right planting materials the industry cannot revitalize,” Turnbull said.

The coconut plantation (Ministry of Agriculture photo)

 

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