A refusal by the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to lease Crown Lands to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocoa Company (SVCC) is apparently preventing the company from creating, even more, employment opportunities for Vincentians.
The Cocoa Company said via a press release that there is a need for a site, or a corresponding nursery, clonal garden and cocoa handling facility on the Leeward side of the country as soon as possible.
The release stated that there are no Cocoa processing facilities on the Leeward side of the island, and noted that the most suitable sites are owned /controlled by the Government in the form of Crown lands.
SVCC said they had made multiple applications on multiple Crown and National Properties sites over the last two years but with no success to date.
The continued refusal of the Government to lease Crown lands to SVCC for cocoa production and to establish a processing facility on the Leeward side is holding back the cocoa industry and holding back potential employment according to the release.
The company says, however, they remain hopeful that the situation regarding the leasing of lands will change in the not too distant future.
Despite this, SVCC says they continue to see a prosperous future for cocoa in SVG, and that they are determined to create an industry which the country can be very proud of while providing employment and economic opportunities for many people.