Strengthening the Caribbean coconut value chain. Next stop: Dominican Republic

23 janvier 2024
ITC News

In the Caribbean, there is a substantial gap between production capacity and demand for coconut and its derivative products. Closing that gap requires coordinated value chain action, and solutions to increase small farmers’ productivity and strengthen market linkages.

The global coconut value chain is looking at a rapidly growing demand for coconut products. In the case of the Dominican Republic, for example, processing companies have ramped up activities to exploit increased demand. But local coconut production is still not enough despite significant efforts to increase the supply of raw materials.

Over the course of five days at the end of November, 100 coconut farmers, processors and support institutions – including 20 representatives from across 11 Caribbean countries and Mexico – convened in the Dominican Republic for a holistic event on the sustainable development of the industry.

The regional event was hosted by the Dominican Ministry of Agriculture, the Dominican Institute of Agricultural and Forestry Research, and the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD), with support from the EU Delegation to the Dominican Republic and the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic.

It sought to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among participants to enhance value chain efficiency and sustain the regional coconut industry. Farm and processing plant visits also offered participants snapshots of the coconut value chain, from cultivation to processing, and to explore best practices at each level.

There was a particular focus on showcasing the Dominican Republic’s strengths on sustainable coconut production, value addition and product diversification, including coconut tissue culture laboratory visits, stakeholder presentations, guided discussions, and networking activities.

Participants built and strengthened connections with fellow industry professionals and private and public sector actors, bringing the sector one step closer to real collaboration and sustainability in the coconut industry.

The Dominican Republic is one of 12 countries benefiting from the second phase of the EU-funded Alliances for Coconut Industry Development in the Caribbean project of the International Trade Centre (ITC). The CARIFORUM Secretariat and other regional partners support the project.

Participation in this event fits within this framework by strengthening the capacity of coconut farmers and technical officers with innovative, sustainable techniques from farm to shelf.


About the project

The International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and important regional and national partners have been working since 2015 to facilitate alliances among actors at every step of the Caribbean coconut value chain through the ‘Caribbean: Development of value added products and intra-regional trade to enhance livelihoods from coconuts’ CARIFORUM programme funded by the European Union.

Sustainable agriculture and processing practices, value addition and commercial alliances are some of the key tools leveraged. The goal of the project is to increase food availability and incomes of small-scale farmers through improved competitiveness of the coconut sector.