St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda commemorated World Coconut Day 2023.
The day was celebrated under the theme “Building a Safe, Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Community amid Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond.”
This significant recognition and observation only began in the year 2009. However, it has been noted that this fruit has been consumed for at least 2,000 years and has many nutritional benefits and values.
It is assumed that coconuts are indigenous to Indonesia, and the name means “Walnut from India”.
Coconuts, from the water to oil and the food they offer to humans, have provided sustenance for generations, and it is felt that the introduction to the Western Hemisphere was made possible through explorers and travellers like Marco Polo.
According to the Agricultural Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture, and more so, the Forestry Unit, probably had an insight or premonition pertaining to the sustainability of this precious fruit and ingeniously planned, developed and created a resilience programme to mitigate and counteract the adverse effects on the COCONUT PRODUCTION on Antigua and Barbuda.
On September 29, 2022, the Forestry Unit within the Ministry of Agriculture launched a Coconut Rehabilitation with the intention to distribute three thousand coconuts for propagation purposes only within two years.
To date, an estimated amount of twenty-one hundred coconuts have been distributed throughout five agricultural districts.
With 60 percent of the coconuts already distributed, it is anticipated that the remaining 40 percent will also be distributed by the end of 2023.
The Ministry also mentioned, “For any information pertaining to the Coconut Rehabilitation Programme, please contact the Forestry Unit, located on the ground floor in the old PDO Building, or via telephone at #764-1272.”