Coconut Industry Under Pressure From Dalo And Yaqona
The coconut industry is under increasing pressure from other commodities such as dalo and yaqona, says Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Jitendra Singh.
This was highlighted by Mr Singh at the closing of the two days World Coconut Day celebration at Foreshore Park in Savusavu on Friday.
However, he said it was important to note that coconuts have far more diverse bi-products compared to other competing commodities.
“I encourage you to continue to explore other products from coconuts such as cosmetics, logs and a variety of food products,” Mr Singh said.
“I challenge to look at our copra plantations, replant old trees, repair old driers and entice our youth to consider coconut as a source of our livelihoods.”
Mr Singh said the vast potential of land in Vanua Levu and how well it needs to be used in terms of coconut development is a challenge that must be taken.
“Government is willing to assist those that are willing to take up that challenge,” he said.
“We must use every opportunity to use these natural resources with which we are abundantly blessed with sustainably for food security and for future of our children.”
“This year’s World Coconut Day celebration theme is coconut our food, our shelter, our life.”
“This fittingly describes the importance of coconut in our daily lives.”
Mr Singh said it is a source of our food, part of our homes, furniture and jewellery.
“In certain communities, coconuts command respect as a cultural and even a sacred item.
“We will also recall that it was an ingredient in our success for the quest for Gold at Rio after every training session, the Fiji sevens team were refreshed and hydrated with fresh ‘Bu’ at their training ground.”
The celebration was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with the Asian Pacific Coconut Community (APCC).
Mr Singh further said this was a platform to raise awareness of the importance of the coconut industry as an income source, part of our food systems, fuel and fibre production and in the efficient running of our ecosystem.
Edited by: Farzana Nisha