COSME Supports Sustainable Development in Montserrat

Road Town, BVI, November 30, 2017 – COSME is a European funded programme, with the mission to support SMEs in the Caribbean OCTs to grow competitive businesses. Over the past year Ms. Charmaine White, owner and farmer of a Montserrat tilapia fish farm, is an excellent example of an entrepreneur with a vision who was able to benefit from COSME’s support. 

In her quest to grow her business as a viable public food resource for Montserrat, Ms. White and four other entrepreneurs received sponsorship from COSME to assist agricultural growth through training in Aquaponics.  They spent almost three weeks in Antigua learning from the region’s experts, Mr. Damon Francis and Mr. Larry Francis at the Indies Greens Tilapia and Vegetable. 

“Learning how to operate a viable, commercial Aquaponics system with best practices in the Montserrat environment was an inspiring experience that I was able translate into my own pond immediately,” said Ms. White, an entrepreneur who received COSME funding for training. 

Prior to attending this training, Ms. White and her fellow entrepreneurs weathered  many obstacles such as birds eating fish from the ponds and financial constraints . Her recent education has enabled Ms. White to implement many positive changes to her tilapia fish farm. Changes include dividing her large pond into three smaller ponds, creating a nursery-only space, making a net cover to reduce the loss of fish due to birds, and using egg shells in a recipe to provide the fish with a higher calcium diet, ensuring positive growth for tilapia. 

Ms. White started her tilapia fish pond in 2015 with 25 fingerlings that have reproduced. Although she has lost many of these fish through beginner’s error , her current success enables her to supply tilapia fish for her family and friends. With vision, perseverance and training resources provided through COSME, Ms. White is determined to grow her farm large enough to supply the public and restaurants of Montserrat with home-grown tilapia.  Meeting this goal will allow the public to access local tilapia without duties.


COSME is a 54-month programme with the responsibility to disperse 15M Euros to projects benefiting participating Caribbean Territories. The funds were made available by the European Union (EU). The programme’s overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the participating territories.


Media Contact: 

Dwight TjinKon Kiem

Private Sector Development Expert/SME Expert  

Caribbean OCTs SME (COSME) Programme SME Regional Project Office 

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SME Regional Project Office

Willemstad, Curaçao