On Wednesday 5th December, all CARDI offices across the region celebrated CARDI Day under the theme “Celebrating the potential of the region’s coconut industry.” The date holds special meaning as it was on December 5, 1974 that Caribbean government representatives met in Georgetown Guyana, to sign the agreement establishing the Institute.
This year the focus was on highlighting the Institute’s work under the EU – ACP funded Regional Coconut Industry Development Project. Through a series of exhibitions, workshops, public lectures and school tours participants will see first-hand some of the practical ways that the project is breathing new life into one of the region’s oldest industries.
In the last four years, the Caribbean Agricultural Research Development Institute (CARDI) has been implementing a major regional project, working alongside the International Trade Center and stakeholders along the coconut value chain to transition the region’s small-scale operations to enterprise-level profitability in the global coconut industry.
Worldwide, a growing demand for fresh coconut produce is being driven by recent trends in the global food and beverage sector and the health and beauty markets. Caribbean farmers are exploring new ways to get more out of the coconut value chain, converting every part of the iconic tree into marketable assets. But it’s not that simple. For many farmers, issues like pests, disease and limited market access are still severely constraining their ability to make a sustainable living from coconuts.
CARDI is working alongside a number of stakeholders in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago to help other farmers benefit from the window of opportunity created by an upsurge in global demand.
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