Michael Swaby of Crescent, St. Mary, Jamaica, has been passionate about growing coconuts since he was 17. In November 2022, he was nominated for the title by the Coconut Industry Board for his use of sustainable practices on his 38-acre farm. He was then voted the World’s Best Innovative Coconut Farmer at the 50th International COCOTECH Conference (ICC) and Exhibition held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Swaby participated in regional training provided by the CIB together with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Scientific Research Council (SRC), and the European Union (EU). He was then chosen to help others in his community with what he had learned and was tasked with the continual development of their farming practices.
One of the major innovations implemented by Swaby, and something he learned from the training program, was not to waste anything. For example, he sells coconut husks as compost material, a plus in that he has always been concerned about discovering ways to profit from waste materials.