Micoud processing plants handed over to rural women producers
The rural women of Micoud now have a place to manufacture their products.
On Sunday, two processing plants, located in Anse Ger, Micoud, were officially handed over to the Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers (Micoud cluster). One of the processing plants is for the process of cocoa, a product which Saint Lucians have recently seen the need to invest in heavily.
An amount of € 10.35 million was made available by the EU for agriculture transformation in Saint Lucia to finance a number of projects. The financial agreement was signed in 2013.
Several other processing plants have been constructed in Saint Lucia under the same EU/government arrangement.
In a brief interview with Eden Compton, special project coordinator at the Department for Agriculture, just before the handing over ceremony told Loop News that the rural women have been asking for such a facility for a long time, so they can come together and produce together.
He said the project will go a long way in the development of the agriculture sector in Saint Lucia.
In another interview with Avellina Augustin, president of the Micoud cluster, she said: “The facility is a good thing for us. It will boost the community and empower the women.”
She said over the years, the women have been manufacturing their products at their homes which have hampered their ability to penetrate the local market because their homes are not Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified.
She identified some of the products they produce as jellies, chocolates, juices and candies.
“Our chocolates are natural. They have no preservatives,” Augustin said.
She lamented that there are too many fruits going to waste in Saint Lucia.