The objectives were:
- to review in-depth the results of the Intra-ACP needs assessment study on the coconut industry in the Caribbean;
- to agree on priority interventions and a Road Map for developing the Caribbean coconut industry within a three to five year period at national and regional level, and
- to seek endorsement from the Caribbean Ministers attending the CWA on the indicative Road Map.
Day 1 of the workshop was dedicated to presentations by the lead consultants of needs assessment study, specialist technical experts and representatives of small and medium to large-scale commercial enterprises. The key issues and gaps identified were:
- Limited high quality planting material, narrow genetic pool, and high economic losses due to pests.
- Limited market intelligence regarding local, regional and international markets for both mainstream and niche products.
- Limited scientific capacity for addressing issues across the value chain e.g. characterising indigenous genetic resources, improving production and productivity, managing pest and disease, processing, and research and development for new and high value niche products.
- Limitations in finance and business development especially for small-scale and artisanal industries.
The priority areas of interventions to support future industry development were identified as follows:
- Certified Quality Planting Material and Pest Management
- Enhancing Scientific Capacity
- Market Intelligence
- Finance and Business Development
On Day 2, the priority areas of intervention were discussed and used as the basis for the development of a draft Coconut Industry Road Map for actions to be taken at national and regional levels within a three tiered time horizon:
12 months or less;
12 months to 3 years;
3 to 5 years during the working group sessions.
The recommendations were presented to Caribbean Ministers of Agriculture, their senior representatives, and delegates from national, regional and international organisations and civil society during the meetings of the Alliance and Council for Trade and Economic Development.