Great potential for coconut industry

As people become more health conscious worldwide, they are recognizing the benefits of coconut products, particularly with coconut oil and water, the industry has become a billion-dollar one.

And Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Barton Clarke said for Barbados to capitalize on this, some fundamental questions must be answered.

Barton Clarke

“What is the market, how big is it, and where is our competition? Which products will we focus on? Will it be water, cosmetics, promoting cuisine using coconuts or coconut oil? We must also determine what we will do with the waste, and where we will source raw materials if our local supply cannot keep up with the market demand,” he said.

Clarke added that there is a need to establish health standards and “ensure that wayside coconut vendors learn them so that what they are offering to us and our guests will comply with health regulations”.

He made the comments recently as he addressed a forum for stakeholders in the coconut industry at the Savannah Hotel, where he quoted statistics from United Kingdom-based consultancy firm Zenith Global that show coconut water dominating the global “alternative waters” market – accounting for 96 per cent of volume and 86 per cent of value in 2016 – and that significant positive growth is forecast for coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut flour and virgin coconut oil.

Chief Agricultural Officer Lennox Chandler, who also addressed the forum, said the Ministry of Agriculture will do its part to boost the local industry by offering rebates and incentives for farmers, acting as a regulator to ensure standards are met, and carrying out research on the crop.

Lennox Chandler

“All too often we rely on statistics and other information coming from outside and make our decisions based on that, without doing our own local surveys,” he said, adding that the process must be “underpinned by science and technology, not legend or hearsay”.

6 Responses to Great potential for coconut industry

  1. jrsmith May 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Promises, promises , promises …………..
    All too often we rely on statistics and other information coming from outside , why, why because we are always waiting , waiting on what or whom ……………we must learn to do fuh we self….

  2. Helicopter(8P) May 25, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Sitting back and putting the coconut production in Barbados on the back burner will just be an other low productivity scenario! The present consumption of just the coconut water is amazing in the New York metro area and beyond! Coconut oil based cosmetics are in every pharmacy, small shop, and department stores. Soaps and shampoos, hairsprays and skin creams all can be found having coconut oil based formula. The husks can be economically turned into agricultural mulch and fertilizer additive. An other good use is for the production of insulation sound deadening or sound proofing material! Local vendors at this moment in time need just about twenty two acres of added planted grove to supply the local market. In all the island needs forty acres for sustainability to 2035.

  3. Sheron Inniss May 25, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    The horse done bolt. Another Caricom neighbour had a thriving industry and allowed others from over and away to convince them it was not worth it. When will we learn. You mean I have to wait until the ants come and tell me in my grave? We are still in mental slavery. Such a pity

  4. hcalndre May 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Barbados always have aspirations to do what other countries are doing. With all the coconut trees in Barbados they don`t even have as many trees as some of the other islands. Coconut water is exported by Grace and another company from Jamaica, Thailand and Puerto Rico also that I know. Could Barbados be able to compete with these countries with the few trees they have? I say no, for home uses, maybe.

  5. Frank White May 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    If these coconut vendors don’t keep their eyes open, an entity will come and snatch that industry right from under their feet. Someone is looking at you all and saying that you all, as black young entrepreneurs, are making too much money and believe what i say when i a say, don’t be surprised if a game isn’t afoot to stop these guys from making an honest dollar so that someone else could take it over… Mark my words…

    Just like this plastic bag issue, there’s more in the mortar than the pestle… These people don’t care nothing about no environment, all they care about is the dollar…

  6. mikey May 25, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    @Frank White, You are correct. All thise big-up local Barbadians like Clarke and Chandler want to do is to see who they can put in place to control the industry, join with them and get some side-kicks and forget the fellas in the trees and on the ground doing the hard work.
    I hope they keep their heads on and do not let outsiders run them off their own turf.


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