Farmers from Pomeroon, one of two major coconut areas in Guyana, (the other area being West Bank Berbice) have formed the Pomeroon Coconut and Other Crop Farmers’ Association with the aim of improving and expanding coconut production in the area. The Association also proposes to promote and market the sale of the coconut and its value-added products in the Pomeroon.
The Association is in its initial stage, with the executive members elected and registration is currently on-going for membership. The appointed Secretary Vilma Da Silva explained that the association has already processed the registration thus far for 50 farmers, but the goal is to have as part of the organisation, all of the coconut farmers and producers from lower and upper Pomeroon.
Over the years farmers in the area, facing challenges of pricing, had neglected the land for the gold fields. Now with the gold price facing a downward spiral, the farmers are heading back to the coconut industry, DaSilva said.
She explained that the executive members have decided to form the association, with the aim of regularizing the production and holding the markets.
“We recognise that it is important for us to work at the community level, and we have to work in order for the government to work with us,” she said.
She explained that in addition to working with the Ministry of Agriculture in helping farmers to develop their farms, including providing access to better drainage and affordable planting materials and fertilisers, the aim will also be to ensure production in stages that will allow for steady supply to the markets.
Da Silva explained that the aim is to have overseas buyers who would access the produce by boat at the Port in Charity, after a special boat would have brought it out from the Pomeroon.
She said too, that the Association already has a request coming out of Trinidad and Tobago for the supply of 20,000 litres of coconut water amounting to 70,000 coconuts, twice per month.
This will translate to a maximum $18M within a month that would help top boost the economy in the Pomeroon, she noted.
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