March 12, 2012 | 10:53 am | Print
Above: coconuts slated for distribution (BIS Photo/Gladstone Thurston)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation is continuing its push to cultivate the coconut industry in the country, distributing 6,000 coconuts resistant to lethal yellowing to farmers on the Family Islands, with help from Jamaica.
The coconuts are initially headed to North and South Abaco, Long Island, North and South Andros and Exuma.
“These are varieties that are resistant to lethal yellowing, they begin bearing very low to the ground and they last a long time,” said Arnold Dorsett, assistant general manager at BAIC. “They are very productive varieties and we look forward to having farmers harvesting coconuts for a long time at arm’s length.”
The coconuts were purchased from Jamaica with the assistance of the Jamaica Coconut Board.
“They are Jamaica’s best varieties,” Dorsett said.
The initiative is the brainchild of BAIC Executive Chairman Edison Key, MP for South Abaco.
“This, I hope, is the beginning of an industry,” Key said. “We import coconut products from all over the tropical world for our residents and tourists. So the market is already established.”
“I see no reason why we cannot have a successful coconut products industry if only to take care of our own needs and keep in our economy the many millions of dollars we spend importing food produts we can produce right here in the Bahamas,” he said.
In November, Jamaican coconut expert Dr Wayne Myrie said there was great potential for an industry in the country during a visit to Eleuthera.
Bahamas Jamaica News