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Two investors have expressed interest in the local cocoa industry in the aftermath of an announcement in July by the St. Vincent Cacao Co. that it is ceasing operations here.

“I have two direct contacts already, entities, persons interested in the cocoa,” Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told the media this week.

“The first one is a Vincentian citizen, but from the United Kingdom, been living in Bequia for quite some time; a fairly wealthy individual. I don’t think he would want me to call his name. He came, his lawyer had asked me to see him, I saw him,” Gonsalves said.

He said Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar is holding discussions with this person.

“And then you would recall that even before Amajaro came I had told you publicly that Hotel Chocolat, which is a big company in Europe, they have a small operation in St. Lucia, but Amajaro had beaten them to the tape, because they were a little slow,” he said of Amajaro, owners of the St. Vincent Cocoa Co.

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Gonsalves said he met last week with an official from the British High Commission, who met him on several matters, including “bringing the interest of Hotel Chocolat”.

“So we are working out now when is it they can come again and meet. I have already told Saboto about it. So let us see what happens, so that the cocoa industry can still be proceeding,” he said.

On Aug. 12, 2011, Gonsalves signed a 50-year agreement with Amajaro, which qualified for review after 20 years.

The agreement gave Amajaro exclusivity in SVG to buy cocoa beans, in wet and dry bean form and to perform all sales and marketing of SVG cocoa within the period of the agreement.

The St. Vincent Cocoa Co. decided to cease operations because it no longer sees local production as “a viable one” in light of their targeted acreage of cocoa cultivation.

The company had a target of cultivating 5,000 acres of cocoa in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Some persons, from the get go, said that this was very ambitious, taking into consideration that here in St. Vincent and the Grenadine we have some 18,000 acres of land basically left for agriculture,” Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar said in July after the company announced that it was ceasing operations in St. Vincent.

6 replies on “Investors interested in cocoa industry”

  1. Yet another empty election promise, just like the one about all the airlines that are interested in flying to Argyle.

    There is an old saying: “You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

    It seems that this doesn’t apply to SVG where all of us are made fools of all of the time.

    1. James the lion monroe says:

      Mr ben David, ur so right.He will fool vincentians into voting for him again.All he has to do, is bring in a raggae star and promise them lumber etc.

  2. My advice to the farmers is to disregard whatever this man tells you.

    Vote him out of power and watch the difference, this is the same man that signed away the farmers rights for 50 years, can you believe such a crap action could come from such a supposedly intelligent man? 5o years, what a joke, its what I will describe as a criminal act.

    Just wait until he has gone, because there are people waiting to help, but in doing so do not want to help the ULP stay in power. Please wait and see.

  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    For the farmers’ sake who have invested a lot of money in cocoa I hope this is not one of the occasions that the PM is lying. He is the one who admitted that he may lie about certain things. Vincentians are left to wonder why everyone who the PM speaks with about anything do not wish to have their names call. Is this a case of some witnesses of the US Witness Protection Program (WPP) who are going to invest? is this person a person of interest regarding some criminal activity? Atleast we can give Ralph some credit in keeping the NDP initiative alive. Let us hope this work for the farmers sake. God knows theyre meeting it very hard.

  4. well,l have a business idea about cocoa plantation and will like to have partners who can assist me to make this idea a reality. i do not have
    any thing but only but only a business idea which i believe can help to promote the cocoa industry.
    please interested parties can send me mail.

    thank you.

  5. urmmm, so you can give an exclusive 50 yr agreement to the cocoa folks without any evidence of it going to work, but you couldn’t give an exclusive agreement to the medical college when you know they are solid. What if the new universities don’t last a year? Another master stroke ???

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