Grenada cocoa farmers turn to solar energy
Cocoa farmers in Grenada can now use solar energy for the drying of their cocoa beans which is expected to increase production in an environmentally friendly way.
The drying wall was made possible through a US $134,000 grant from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
Speaking recently at the ceremony to commission the new Solar Drying Wall at the Mt Horne Cocoa Fermentary Station, Chairman of the GEF Steering Committee, Trevor Thompson, said the project should reduce the need to depend on passive drying in the face of climate change and to rely more on an active drying system using solar technology.
“This project is expected to increase the drying capacity of cocoa using the clean, sustainable cost-effective technology to aid in building resilience against climate change.
You don’t have to pay for the energy or drying of the cocoa, so the cost of production has been reduced.
The success of this initiative will ultimately reinvigorate the cocoa industry by creating a dependable marketplace for farmers,” said Thompson.
Meanwhile, Grenada’s Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Yolande Bain-Horsford, applauded the Association for doing its part to combat climate change.
“There is no denying that the advent of climate change requires developing states like ours to build resilience and this project is certainly a part of this thrust.
The Ministry applauds the pioneers of this project, recognising the goal of this project seeks to increase Grenada’s cocoa drying capacity in a clean, sustainable, cost-effective manner in order to create resilience against climate change,” said Minister Bain-Horsford.
And, cocoa farmers will be able to earn a bit more revenue as effective today, Monday 3 February 2020, the price of cocoa was increased from $1.35 to $1.50 per pound.
The announcement was made by Chairman of the Grenada Cocoa Association, Christopher Williams.
It was noted that cocoa is an important local crop in Grenada which contributes to the livelihoods of many rural families.