The Caribbean region has enormous potential to become an important player in the global coconut market. However, challenges such as lack of quality planting materials and financial and technological constraints have hindered its progress. The recent signing of a Letter of Intent by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has given stakeholders in the regional coconut industry the muchneeded capacity to capitalize on this growing demand.
IICA, the executing agency for the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Project supported under the 11th EDF Programme, will facilitate processors to improve their market access by complying with Europe’s SPS measures and help CARIFORUM states better develop their own regionally harmonized SPS measures. Support will be provided to train and guide private sector entities in key areas of food safety standards. Additionally, resources will be allocated towards the upgrading of laboratories to undertake tests that are required for the marketing and trade of coconut and coconut products.
Acting Head of the Agricultural Health, Food Safety and Food Quality Program at IICA, Ana Marisa Cordero stated, “These interventions will contribute to an increased capacity for exports, increased trade and economic development, increased compliance with international obligations and improved market access and a reduction in food safety-related incidents.”
Knowledge management and information dissemination will also be key components of this initiative.
This intervention rationalizes the resources and finds synergies between the SPS project and the Alliances for Coconut Industry Development Expansion and Enhanced Support for the Caribbean project currently being implemented by CARDI, ITC and partners. This collaboration maximizes the use of resources while transforming the regional coconut supply chain for improved trade and economic development.
This partnership supports the scaling up of the project’s interventions and allows the implementers to reach a larger number of stakeholders.