Enhancing the competiveness of the Nutmeg Industry was the focus of a presentation held in St George’s titled Economic Development with a Cluster Focus.
International Cluster Development Specialist Ifor Ffowcs-Williams from New Zealand, was the facilitator sharing best practices from around the world. He has worked with over 50 countries around the world in this area.
Key stakeholders in the Nutmeg industry were present to find ways to engage effectively in rebuilding “Grenada’s Gold”.
Mr. Ffowcs-Williams said, Grenada has a global reputation with its nutmegs that says“number one” and should build on that.
“How do we get farmers to get more proactive in putting trees in the ground, and picking up the nutmegs on the ground, how do we get smarter in adding value to the nutmegs that we’ve got?”, he asked.
The Cluster Development Specialist said, a number of countries are taking on a cluster approach for job and wealth creation.
Among these countries is Iceland, which is developing its geothermal cluster, and its fishing cluster, bringing all the key people around the table and working through how they will improve and increase the competitiveness of their firms.
He said, countries such as Sweden, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries, cluster development for them are a key ingredient in their economic strategy.
Common elements within the cluster system involves, team engagement across public agencies, business and academia rather that isolation and dysfunction, Mr. FFowcs-Williams noted.
“What is clear around the world is that, economies don’t grow by doing a little bit of everything, they grow by focusing on what they do best; their strengths,”he said.
“Clearly you have a nutmeg cluster here in Grenada, clearly you have a Tourism cluster and a number of call centre activities, and should focus on what you’re good at and move forward with it”.
The presentation was done on behalf of Compete Caribbean, a Private Sector Development Program that provides technical assistance, grants and investment funding to support Productive Development Policies, Business Climate Reforms, Clustering Initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean Region