Shaun Cameron (second right, standing), general manager, Coconut Industry Board, addressing stakeholders at the Coconut Growers’ Association in August 2022. (Photo: Karl Mclarty)

FACED with the ever-present threat of the lethal yellowing and bud rot diseases which have depleted the coconut stock in Jamaica, the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) is seeking to expand the coconut-growing programme outside of the locus of eastern Jamaica.

According to general manager of the CIB Shaun Cameron, this is just one of the risk management and mitigation strategies that will improve the geographic diversification of the crop as well as the redundancy in supply.

“This is a personal goal. I believe in risk management and, based on our history, our mass of production for coconuts has been in the east [where] there is a lethal yellowing problem, especially in St Thomas. Our nursery is [now] in the west and we were able to sustain the industry because it’s in a non-lethal yellowing area,” Cameron t