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Government, Coconut Industry Board to meet this week

Published:Monday | June 20, 2016 | 6:13 AM
The Coconut Industry Board at 18 Waterloo Road in Kingston.

The Coconut Industry Board (CIB) is expecting to meet with the government later this week to discuss the controversy which arose earlier this year when the government attempted to sell 75 per cent of the board's shares in Seprod.

The Government and the Coconut Industry Board jointly own shares worth some over $2 billion in Seprod. 

However, the government's attempt to sell the shares was rejected by coconut farmers who stated that the shares belonged to them and not the government.

Chairman of the Coconut Industry Board, Christopher Gentles says almost two months later, the coconut farmers are still adamant they do not want the government to sell the shares.

They say the profits from shares are needed to sustain the coconut industry.

Gentles also says the Coconut Industry Board may be able to give an alternative contribution to the Government instead of relinquishing the shares in Seprod.

Gentles says the CIB is hoping to discuss this option and the direction of the Board when it meets with representatives from the Agriculture Ministry later this week.

If the government's sale goes through, the Coconut Industry Board's ownership in Seprod will fall from 31.65 per cent to 7.9 per cent.