Farmers Encouraged to Grow Coconuts

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (centre), tastes shredded coconut at the St. Mary Agricultural Show at Gray’s Inn Sports Complex, on Monday (April 2). Others (from left) are Highgate Senior Citizens Club member, Louis Chambers; and President of the club, Robert Osbourne. The club designed and manufactured the electronic coconut shredder, which was on display at the event.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging Jamaicans to invest more in coconut farming, as there are opportunities to earn from the product.
  • Speaking at the 32nd annual St. Mary Agricultural Show at Gray’s Inn Sports complex on Monday (April 2), the Minister said local manufacturers who depend on coconuts are going to other nations for raw materials, as the local supply is below the demand.
  • Mr. Shaw said the Government is taking action to change this situation, by rationalising a number of agencies, including the Cocoa Board, the Coffee Board and the Coconut Board into one, where there will be a focus on how to increase the production of these products.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging Jamaicans to invest more in coconut farming, as there are opportunities to earn from the product.

Speaking at the 32nd annual St. Mary Agricultural Show at Gray’s Inn Sports complex on Monday (April 2), the Minister said local manufacturers who depend on coconuts are going to other nations for raw materials, as the local supply is below the demand.

He cited GraceKennedy, which has to import coconut raw material because the company cannot get enough in Jamaica.

Mr. Shaw said the Government is taking action to change this situation, by rationalising a number of agencies, including the Cocoa Board, the Coffee Board and the Coconut Board into one, where there will be a focus on how to increase the production of these products.

“We are going to have to find a solution to build back production in all of these areas,” he added.

The Minister said farmers, including the nation’s youth, need to get more serious about coconut production.

“We are going to talk about how we can transform Jamaica into a major coconut-producing country once again, and it can be done,” Mr. Shaw said.

The St. Mary Agricultural Show was held under the theme ‘Climate Smart Agriculture, the Key to Food Security’.

Annually, the event is hosted to bring farmers from the parish of St. Mary, neighbouring parishes and other stakeholders together, where ideas for innovation are shared along with the introduction of new technology that they can incorporate into their practices.

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