The Scientific Research Council (SRC) of Jamaica has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the International Trade Centre (ITC) to improve the value chain competitiveness of Jamaica’s coconut sector.
With this agreement through ITC’s Alliances for Action programme, the SRC and ITC will collaborate to build the capacity of the local coconut industry, partnering with the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) and key public and private sector stakeholders to maximise chances of success by increasing the productivity of smallholder farms and agro-processors.
The SRC will take the lead on mapping and needs assessments of the coconut agro-processor enterprises and support institutions, training to at least 10 coconut smallholder farmers and agro-processors in the areas of value addition, food safety and quality, labelling and packaging, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and coconut value-added product development and testing in support of commercialisation.
The council indicated that this partnership will serve to strengthen it’s expertise in the areas of sustainable production, processing and trade practices, as well provide advisory support at the regional level in collaboration with ITC, CIB, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research and other partners in best practices for value addition, food safety and quality, GMP and product development and testing.
SRC Executive Director Dr Charah Watson said, “We see partnerships such as this with the ITC as the way forward. The council is keen on establishing and strengthening partnerships with private sector enterprises to facilitate business development, knowledge transfers and technical-skills sharing. We value these partnerships as they are key to advancing our goal for national growth and development”.
ITC is the joint technical cooperation agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.
ITC’s Alliances for Action programme aims to contribute to achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, it hopes to generate sustainable incomes and livelihoods, especially for poor households, by connecting enterprises to regional and global markets.
It also seeks to enable small business trade success in developing and transition countries by providing inclusive and sustainable trade development solutions to the private sector, trade and investment support institutions and policymakers through strategic partnerships.