Holder to deploy team to assist coconut farmers fight Red Palm Mite

Matured coconuts are collected, dehusked and dried into copra to be sold as raw material for coconut oil. Photo by LA Villariba 053009
Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder
Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder on Monday November 16, 2015 met with the coconut farmers in Charity, Essequibo to discuss strategies to deal with the Red Palm Mite issue which has been attacking coconut production recently.

A release from the Ministry noted that the Pomeroon farmers complained that they are currently losing over 50% of their crop because of the mite. In response, Minister Holder informed the gathering that he will soon deploy a team of specialists to aid the farmers. He also mentioned that the farmers will be given free chemicals to help them control the mite.

Also speaking with the farmers was the CEO of NAREI Dr. Oudho Homenauth, who noted that there are a number of methods of control for the mite being explored by NAREI.

According to the release, he explained that even though farmers previously used Monocrotophos insecticide to treat this because of its effectiveness, it is no longer being imported in Guyana.

“Monocrotophos is effective but traces of the chemical can be found in the coconut bi-products. Since we export coconut products it is not advised that this chemical be used to treat the Red Palm Mite. This particular chemical was already banned by the EU and Guyana,” he said.

A section of the farmers at the meeting
A section of the farmers at the meeting

It was pointed out that there is a body of International Partners who implemented a project that deals with the development of the coconut industry and two Pomeroon coconut farmers are currently sitting on that Board of Directors.

Minister Holder advised the farmers to develop an organisation consisting of a group of farmers who can collectively relay all the issues being faced by the farmers.

“I am urging you all to establish a body of persons who can represent and your issues at a higher level” he said.

The team is expected to be put together and deployed within the next three weeks.




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