Over 150 coconut farmers in the Pomeroon, Guyana have tapped into the lucrative entrepreneurial opportunity of exporting coconut water resulting in significant growth for the country and its people.
In 2016, 150.2 tonnes of coconut water, valued at US$364,121, was exported and this activity has encouraged greater potential for 2017 and beyond.
The coconut production resurgence has also seen three regional buyers secured, the creation of 372 jobs plus the growth of female employment to 55%.
However, this picture of growth and prosperity was not always the case in the Pomeroon. A few years ago l and owners and farm operators abandoned their properties and turned their attention to the more lucrative earnings from Guyana’s gold mines.
However, in 2014, the Compete Caribbean Program collaborated with the Pomeroon Export Producers Association (PEPA ) to revive agricultural production in the Lower Pomeroon, improve the state of the farms and secure markets for export. Now, this remote territory which spans more than 20,000 hectares, has potential to be the key to both sustainable trade and social development in Pomeroon.
Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.