CoGent Network

Trinidad & Tobago

Country information


No genebank recorded.


Cynthra Persad
Director of Research
Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources
Central Experimental Station Centeno
via Arima PO
Trinidad and Tobago
Phone: (+1-868) 646 7657
Fax: (+1-868) 646 1646

Saint Vincent Tall (STVT)
(Image: J. Oliver)

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelago state in the southern Caribbean, lying northeast of Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles. It shares maritime boundaries with other nations including: Barbados to the northeast, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west. The country covers an area of 5128 km² and consists of two main islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and numerous smaller landforms. Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the main islands; Tobago is much smaller, comprising about 6% of the total area and 4% of the population.

The economy is largely based on oil and gas, which accounts for 40% of GDP and 80% of exports. As a result, focus has been on this sector and inadequate attention has been paid to the agricultural sector (MALMR 2008). The agriculture sector has declined in importance as a source of  employment, despite a 13% national unemployment rate. It also provides the lowest average income in the country. For decades Trinidad and Tobago has been a net importer of food, with the level of food imports being 181% of exports in 1999. Structural transformation of the economy with development, led to primary productivity having an ever reducing share of the GDP with an accompanying parallel reduction in the labour force, partly due to increased competition from new growth sectors (e.g. tourism, manufacturing and services) and loss of essential resources (e.g. land, capital and labour). Developments of international trade have also added to the current agricultural problems of reduced capacity, production, exports, income, profitability and competitiveness.

Under the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources (MALMR), the Fruit Crops Unit undertakes research work on coconut, banana and other tree crops. Regarding coconut, its main current objective is to develop a coconut-water industry for small farmers.

Coconut farmers registered under the Farmers’ Registration Programme are eligible for incentives, for the establishment of new fields (25% of the cost up to $1200/ha) as well as for rehabilitation of old fields (25% of the cost up to $1000/ha). Applications for these incentives must be made on the form provided by the MALMR, and submitted with proof of interest in land, and receipts for goods and services.

More info: pdf.png Conserved coconut germplasm from Trinidad & Tobago (1.6MB)


The Coconut Genetic Resources Network (COGENT) aims to promote national, regional and global collaboration among coconut-producing countries and
partner institutions in the conservation and use of coconut genetic resources for enhanced livelihoods.

The COGENT website is maintained by Bioversity International - Montpellier office.

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