The Pomeroon is an agricultural region, located along the banks of the Pomeroon River in northwest Guyana. This is a major coconut producing area for the country comprising small farmers. Over the years, the farmers have suffered from an unreliable market and prices for their dry coconuts were generally below their cost of production.
Against this background farmers tended to seek jobs elsewhere, in gold mining for example, and to neglect maintenance of the fields and of the drainage ditches, which resulted in low production and greater unprofitability of the coconut farms.
In order to resuscitate the industry, the Pomeroon Export Producers Association (PEPA) formed a cluster of farmers and through a USD500,000 Compete Caribbean grant, sought to develop a fully functioning, sustainable value chain from farm to market through a three-pronged action plan: (i) Revive agricultural production in the Lower Pomeroon by building capacity to upgrade the farms and improve yields; (ii) Establish a modern processing facility with secured markets; (iii) Link the two through transparent “win – win” contract farming agreements.
A Compete Caribbean team recently returned from the Pomeroon after conducting a supervisory visit where they visited coconut farms under the project and met with PEPA to discuss the current status of development and future plans for increasing production.
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