Guyana scaling up coconut production
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Guyana says it is moving to cultivate an additional 1,000 acres in coconut production by the end of this year as efforts continue to produce coconut on a large scale and making it one of the most significant crops as part of the sector’s diversification.
So far this year, Guyana received an estimated 13,000 high-yielding Brazilian green dwarf coconut seed nuts at a cost of GUY$12 million (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) to expand coconut production.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said Guyana is in the process of bringing in another 13,000 coconuts, specifically since nurseries are being constructed across the country.
“We have seen an increase of over 5,000 acres in coconuts since we assumed office in August 2020. This year, we are hoping that we can achieve another 1,000 acres. And this came about because we have seen a great interest in the coconut industry,” he said.
Mustapha said even though there are 10 coconut nurseries spread across the some regions, government intends to expand the initiative to other regions due to the excellent potential for coconuts.
He spoke of the value-added components of the waste material from coconuts that are now being used in the agriculture sector for mulching and other agriculture-related purposes, including coconut cultivation.
“We have also brought in these fibre machines where we are now using the byproduct of coconuts, and we are helping farmers’ groups across the country by making it available where they are using the husks for several purposes…A lot of by-products we will be creating from coconut. The industry is well poised.”
Guyana has received assistance from two specialists from India that have compiled a report on the industry and Mustapha said he hopes to receive the report in a few weeks, to consider some of the recommendations.
He is also urging farmers to take advantage of the overseas market, which includes the Caribbean, North America and Europe for the commodity.