News Date: June 04 2016
The Caribbean is not able to meet the growing global demand for coconut products, especially water - a situation not likely to be resolved any time soon.
Stakeholders in the regional industry, who met in Jamaica last Thursday and Friday, noted that the urgency of the situation requires a strong, collaborative and sustainable development programme that is built on high-quality planting material.
"The region is running out of coconuts," Dr Compton Paul, regional coordinator of the four-year Coconut Industry Develop-ment for the Caribbean project, told the audience during Thursday's opening ceremony.
"We don't have enough coconuts to do the kind of processing we are talking about, even for coconut water, because you are finding that the people are not allowing the nuts to mature properly before they harvest them for coconut water because the demand in that market is so great," he later explained to The Gleaner.
Small farmers, processors, researchers and technicians were among the regional stakeholders gathered at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston to discuss nursery and seedling management, varietal selection, hybridisation and tissue-culture production.