Castries, Saint Lucia: The Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the Ministry of Agriculture have taken proactive steps to safeguard the productivity of the coconut sub-sector via a training exercise on the Coconut Weevil.
The one-day workshop was convened for coconut farmers, and plant health and extension advisory services officers of the Ministry of Agriculture on an improved funnel trap design for the South American Palm Weevil, more commonly called the coconut weevil.
The newly-installed CARDI Representative for Saint Lucia, Barry Innocent, said this activity supports the ongoing interventions by the Plant Research and Development Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to protect the integrity of crops; maintaining buoyancy within the subsector and building the resilience of local food systems against pests and diseases.
The Training workshop focused participants’ attention on the updated protocol for the management and surveillance of the coconut weevil under the guidance of Dr. Annika Minott, a visiting Plant Health Specialist attached to CARDI, Cayman Islands. Dr. Minott said proper identification and management is essential should Saint Lucia make good on its plans to expand the coconut sub-sector and develop the coconut value-chain.
The Agriculture Ministry has, over the years, worked on interventions and programs to build capacity within the coconut sub-sector. The training workshop on the management of the coconut weevil was an output by CARDI and the Ministry of Agriculture under the Coconut Industry Development Project. It was funded by the International Trade Center (ITC) through the European Union and the Organisation of African Caribbean Pacific Countries (ACP).