The Government of Grenada is actively engaged in developing its seamoss industry to reach its potential through a collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) aimed at strengthening the value chain for seamoss and expanding access to regional and global markets.
On 22 June 2023, a Stakeholder Validation Workshop was convened through the support of the ‘Resilient Aquaculture’ sub-project of the Mexico-CARICOM-FAO Initiative “Cooperation for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience in the Caribbean”, and a project of FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme on Promoting Competitive, Sustainable, and Resilient National Value Chain Development in Grenada, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives. The workshop brought together some 42 stakeholders in person and online. These stakeholders from relevant government agencies, seamoss farmer cooperatives, as well as agro-processors, retailers, exporters, and extension personnel sought to validate a strategic plan for upgrading and developing Grenada’s seamoss industry.
The participants validated several strategic areas for developing Grenada’s seamoss sector including expanding and improving production and post-harvest practices, developing standards for product quality and safety, marketing for local and export markets, building product awareness and strengthening infrastructure and support services. These specific areas were identified through a Value Chain Assessment Workshop conducted in May by various public and private sector stakeholders and facilitated by FAO.
FAO’s Resilient Aquaculture National Project Coordinator, Krisma Moore expressed the importance of these workshops by sharing, “this series of Value Chain Workshops for seamoss occurred at a critical time for the industry. The activities leading up to and those accomplished during the workshops helped to identify gaps in the market, and allowed for the creation of strategies to address them while identifying potential partners who can lead them from great ideas to completed actions. This will provide Grenada a guide on how to move forward and contribute positively to the dynamic growth of the seamoss industry in Grenada.”
During the workshop, stakeholders engaged in discussions around the strategic areas to provide critical input and feedback, and to agree on the strategic plan to be undertaken in ensuring the sustainable development of the sector.
These include coordination between value chain stakeholders, increasing knowledge and skills, and strengthening the production base.
Ms Mariza James, from Camerhogne Products noted that, “the session was very informative and insightful. We got the opportunity to network with other seamoss farmers as well as to share some of our concerns and strengths as farmers. It was indeed a pleasure to be able to give input towards the development of the seamoss industry in Grenada. We hope that all [activities] outlined at the session will be implemented in the near future.”
The validation of the 5-year Upgrading Strategy will now set into motion the implementation of relevant activities to address each strategic area. Re-convening public and private sector stakeholders, who were critical in the development of the Strategy, was a necessary step forward to ensure efficiency and sustainability of the sector. Over the coming months, a National Value Chain Team, comprising some of these stakeholders, will lead the implementation process with the hopes of building a resilient and competitive seamoss value chain.
FAO will play a facilitatory role over the duration of the project, after which the National Value Chain Team will independently continue to advance the sector towards improving Grenada’s export potential for seamoss.