Technical Assistance training course to address challenges facing local Coconut Industry
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 15, 2018
A five-day training and technical assistance course for the Guyana Coconut Industry and Inspectorate is being held by the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department.
The exercise is being held at Grand Coastal Hotel and comes in response to a recent threat to the Coconut Water Industry when a shipment of Rooster Fresh Pomeroon Coconut Water was refused entry by the Port of Spain authorities in Trinidad.
Director of the Government Analyst & Food & Drug Department (GAFDD) Marlan Cole outlined the reason for the event. “We are basically responding to a threat, and that is the stymie of the coconut water industry or the promulgation of the same to have access to the markets in the region and the wider world. We would collectively ensure one of the better products in Guyana, and one of the better products in the world. Coconut water from the Pomeroon and elsewhere continues to have full access to markets in the Caribbean and the wider world.”
The Ministry of Public Health’s representative, Dr. Kay Shako, gave assurances of her ministry’s support and encouraged those present to use the training to improve the industry. “The department believes that it must lend support to the industry and if it does not do so it will be defeating the very mandate. The department knows that training is critically important to strengthening our workforce and that is why this five-day training was organised. We know that challenges and controversies bring out the best in us, so I’m hoping with that these we are facing, it will help us to strengthen what we already have and for us to improve on our future events in the coconut industry in Guyana.”
Dr. Cyril Roberts from the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI) said the organisation will make itself available to provide help to Guyana. “It is claimed that the coconut water (industry) has the challenge of meeting standards, but you can be assured that this is not entirely true. We are approaching this in a professional manner and CARDI has been intimately involved in striving to address it. CARDI will find ways to work in whatever way we can provide support because we have a national treasure, and we can’t sit by and allow anyone to abuse it.”
The Best Practices for the Guyanese Coconut Water Industry to improve quality and profitability will be handled by Managing Director of Technological Solutions Limited, Dr. Andre Gordon. Previous meetings held on this matter saw the assembly of regional counterparts who identified challenges and made suggestions to better adjust and bring about uniformity in the Coconut Products trade.
By: Stephon Gabriel