ITC International Consultant Ben Morrison
Guyana is part of a selected group of Caribbean territories participating in the Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean (CIDC) Project.
The project was designed to help provide support to the growing coconut industry in the Region with international support from European Commission.
The European Commission has been providing financial support to the project and designated the International Trade Centre (ITC) to be Chief Executors with CARDI as Implementing Partners.
The first Phase runs from 2015 to 2018 after which a second Phase should begin. As the first Phase comes to an end, the Project Administrators will be delivering a review of the Project’s performance in terms of Industry trends and Solutions based on experiences across the Caribbean.
Representatives of the implementation team spoke of the programme during a meeting held at the Ministry of Agriculture Boardroom.
During the engagement, ITC International Consultant, Ben Morrison, said that the work has been progressing in nine countries across the Caribbean since 2015.
Among the territories that have been targeted for support are the Dominican Republic, Belize, and Jamaica in the North and Trinidad, Guyana, and Suriname in the South with Dominica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent in between.
He explained that in each territory, the Project Administrators have established National Stakeholder Platforms (NSPs) in keeping with the principle of a Participatory Approach involving both Public Sector and Private Sector Agencies.
During his presentation, Morrison spoke of developing a regional roadmap, following a workshop held in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014.
The workshop was hosted by CARDI in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and was attended by stakeholders from Belize, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. At that meeting, European Commission representatives announced a preliminary funding of €3.5 million to prepare the industry for resuscitation.
In early 2015, a five-member Caribbean delegation attended the 51st APCC conference held in Cochin, Kerela, South India. The opportunity was taken to tour the Indian coconut industry in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and to visit the Indian Coconut board.
By the second quarter of 2015, the ITC and CARDI had held a series of workshops with stakeholders in participating countries.
These meetings demonstrated a policy of participatory approaches aimed at ensuring that stakeholders become intimately involved in the development and implementation of plans to develop their industry. The emphasis was that ownership of, and consequently responsibility for, development of the industry must reside with its stakeholders.
Stakeholders included not only producers of primary and value-added products but also providers of support services such as banking, marketing, suppliers of inputs, regulatory agencies, and technical service providers.
This led to the development of a Project aimed at four outcomes, namely Market opportunities identified; value chain development plans agreed; synergies and continuity developed with existing regional and national programmes to enhance regional integration of markets.
This Project has its genesis in a series of efforts arising from a study presented at the 12th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) held in Guyana for a week from October 7, 2013.
The study was funded by the European Commission on behalf of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat and the Caribbean Forum (CariForum) and may be seen in the context of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) following the withdrawal of preferential treatment for traditional plantation crops in European markets.