Sunday, April 14, 2024

BAS: There’s money in growing coconuts

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FARMERS ARE BEING ENCOURAGED to examine the possibilities of earning an income from coconuts.

Barbados Agricultural Society chief executive officer James Paul is suggesting that coconut oil is a viable option to pursue.

“There are low-hanging fruits in the industry which many of us are not seeing. For instance, I hear the complaints of even plantations that have large tracts of land lying down there, not being produced, instead of putting it into a low maintenance crop that you can actually earn an income from. I believe we need to look at this as an opportunity to utilise those lands, earn income,” he said.

“For the length of time a land owner is going to spend to keep his land out of production just to get it transferred from agricultural to non-agricultural, coconuts are something that he can earn a lot of income from.

“The possibilities are not [only] for the cases of confectionery, Bajan sugar cakes and things like these, but also in terms of coconut oil. That has become a very marketable commodity throughout the world. This is a cottage industry thing which you can actually earn income from,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.

Paul, in reiterating the call for greater cooperation between farmers and manufacturers, noted that “there needs to be investment” particularly from those people who had resources such as land, investing money into those things.

“At the end of it, if we can get greater investment in those areas, I think that more people would be interested in getting into it. We have to move from seeing agriculturalists as just agriculturalists and thinking that they cannot get into manufacturing. And similarly that manufacturers are just manufacturers who cannot get into agriculture,” he said.

“It may be that some of those lands can actually be leased to manufacturing operations to facilitate production of the crops that they might actually need. It is things like that that we do need to have in order to create a more sustainable industry as we go into the future,” Paul stated. (Green Bananas Media)

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