Business Development

The NSP reported that the coconut industry is now better organized in in many countries due to the Project. There is now improved crop husbandry practices from a situation where the crop was typically used to mark boundaries of farms to one where seed nuts are selected, propagated in nurseries and planted in accordance with the GAP’s for coconut plantations, all because of better organization.

There is now a vibrant stakeholder platform for dialogue and industry development. The entire value chain is represented, and the platform addresses overall industry development in a structured and results oriented manner.

The platform allows for the bringing together of buyers and sellers. In addition, the work to enhance quality and increase production has boosted the confidence of buyers thereby enhancing the relationships with sellers.

Alliances have been created with other regional partners from Mexico agriculture research. Stakeholders are working together to address issues eg germplasm development and quality issues. Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Standards have been collaborating to address these issues. Public nurseries were upgraded in Belize, Guyana and Suriname and training facilitated for farmers in nursery management.

The Ministry of Agriculture working along with CARDI has distributed planting material at a subsidized price and the project has continued to assist with the establishment of nurseries and the importation of lethal yellow disease resistant plantlets from Mexico. Technical support was given to private nurseries to improve their seed production.

 

Project Contribution

NSP Report on Major Findings

  1. Improve governance of the coconut sector  
  • The NSP reported that the coconut industry is now better organized in in many countries due to the Project. There is now improved crop husbandry practices from a situation where the crop was typically used to mark boundaries of farms to one where seed nuts are selected, propagated in nurseries and planted in accordance with the GAP’s for coconut plantations, all because of better organization.
  • Plants are grown based on gap standards. Pest and disease management as well as botany is being addressed formally. Farmers have been educated on nut selection and establishment of nurseries. Tree crop production has improved.
  1. Harmonize sector policies and priorities
  • In Belize, the Government Manifesto has identified coconut as a commodity to be develop in crop diversification.
  • Quarantine policy which prohibits the entry of coconut planting material and untreated coconut products has been utilized.
  • Nursery establishment and maintenance, improved market information to improve market-led decision making, improving processing techniques within the industry and explore options for diversification, improve incentives for farmers, increase access to farmers
  • There is very segregated and individualised mode of operations in some countries.
  • Priority given to other commodities
  1. Develop partnerships between coconut stakeholders
  • There is now a vibrant stakeholder platform for dialogue and industry development. The entire value chain is represented, and the platform addresses overall industry development in a structured and results oriented manner.
  1. Include smallholder farmers in the NSPs or in policy development
  • There are small farmers in the Belize NSP. The NSP includes also women and youths. The Coconut Growers Association, and Copra Manufacturers are all part of the NSP Board. They are involved in the NSP and by extension their voice is heard for policy development. There is also the call for more farmers on board.
  1. Include women in the NSPs or in policy development
  • There are 6 women in the NSP, there is equal representation from both women and men exist in the NSP. Women represent the craft players, value added, government, input supplies, journalism and retail. Women involved in coconut cottage industries are represented and the rural women clusters in Babonneau and Micoud for example are consulted during policy development which would impact their activities.
  1. Strengthen market linkages
  • Coconut water producer (Dlo Koko) sources fresh water nuts for his operation and at the same time sources dry nuts for the virgin coconut oil (VCO) and shredded coconut oil stakeholders and the husk for the cut flower farmers. The shredded coconut stakeholder is working on supplying the VCO and confectionary stakeholders with shredded coconuts for their operation. In Belize, the NSP includes BELTRAIDE and Ministry of Foreign Trade, farmers and investor in coconut development as part of the NSP.
  • A Coconut Cottage Industry Processors have been assisted in the marketing of their products at the Massy chain of Supermarkets. The NSP has assisted a number of coconut cottage industry processors with the marketing of their products at the supermarkets and other business houses on the island.
  • The platform allows for the bringing together of buyers and sellers. In addition, work to enhance quality and increase production has boosted the confidence of buyers thereby enhancing the relationships with sellers.
  • Suggestion: More public awareness is necessary to strengthen market linkages.
  1. Promote new market opportunities
  • Promotions include: Fresh coconut water, Coconut Oil producers and mulch made from husk.
  1. Establish partnerships in the context of the alliance or supporting the sector
  • Partnership with MOA and IICA and the entire value chain. Collective activities are being undertaken among various players eg CARDI, IICA and GOVT of Mexico. Partnerships were developed between the Coconut suppliers/farmers with the processors among the NSP members. Group activity taking place. The Project links with the private sector and private sector to explore market opportunities.
  • There is an increase in cosmetic entrepreneurs. Buyers and sellers coming together. Hotels and retailers are more inclined to purchase from local source.
  1. Increase availability of quality planting material
  • Alliances have been created with other regional partners from Mexico agriculture research. Stakeholders are working together to address issues eg germplasm development and quality issues. Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Standards have been collaborating to address these issues. Public nurseries were upgraded in Belize, Guyana and Suriname and training facilitated for farmers in nursery management.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture working along with CARDI has distributed planting material at a subsidized price and the project has continued to assist with the establishment of nurseries and the importation of lethal yellow disease resistant plantlets from Mexico. Technical support given to private nurseries to improve their seed production.
  • Pest and Disease-free planting material distributed. Germplasm development through work by CARDI, IICA and Government of Mexico. The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with CARDI have made tissue culture plantlets available to farmers.