The Full Story
Coconut farmers or other interests looking to enter that industry are encouraged to make use of the various incentives offered by the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) to promote the sector’s continued growth.
On Saturday, September 2, Jamaica joined other coconut-producing nations globally in celebrating World Coconut Day.
The celebration took place at the Board’s Waterloo Road headquarters in Kingston.
Speaking on behalf of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, the Ministry’s Chief Technical Director, Orville Palmer, hailed the Board as the key driver of the development in Jamaica’s coconut industry.
“They achieve this by encouraging efficient production, adopting innovative technologies, providing ongoing research and support, enhancing vertical integration through sustainable product development and creating marketing opportunities for the many products that can be made from coconuts,” Mr. Palmer said.
He informed that through the Board, farmers can access free seedlings and fertilisers as well as grants for weed control under their rehabilitation planting programme.
“We urge you farmers and persons interested in the industry to make full use of these incentives,” Mr. Palmer implored.
Noting some of the strides that have been made in the industry, he pointed out that through research and development, the Board has developed varieties and hybrids of coconuts which are better able to thrive under current local conditions and are tolerant to the Lethal Yellowing Disease.
“The spread of this disease has been drastically reduced, and this was a direct [result] of the research that the Coconut Industry Board initiated and continues to do today. As a result of that, we have seen a 70 per cent reduction in the spread of the disease [since the 1990s],” Mr. Palmer stated.
The World Coconut Day celebrations were held under the theme ‘Sustaining the Coconut Sector for the Present and Future Generations’.
The observance was used globally to raise awareness about the use and benefits of coconuts.
At the local celebration, patrons and farmers were exposed to climate-smart agriculture, pest and disease management and research support from the CIB.
There were also several booths and displays that provided samples, knowledge and interesting activities.
This was in addition to an exciting food area which offered a variety of delectable treats made from the versatile coconut.