SUNBIZ

Minister Reddy Commissions New Copra Machine

Mr Reddy said about 120,000 of Fiji’s rural population depended on copra as their main source of livelihood.
15 Oct 2019 15:33
Minister Reddy Commissions New Copra Machine
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways, Environment, Rural and Maritime Development, Mahendra Reddy commissions the new hot air, drier and de-husking machine. Photo: Supplied

Minister Reddy commissions new copra machine

The Minister for Agriculture,Waterways, Environment, Rural and Maritime Development, Mahendra Reddy, commissioned the new hot air, drier and de-husking machine at Copra Millers Ltd in Savusavu yesterday.

Mr Reddy said about 120,000 of Fiji’s rural population depended on copra as their main source of livelihood.

“The newest high value coconut products, which is becoming a by-word in coconut producing countries such as Fiji is Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO),” Mr Reddy said.

“The Fijian Ministry of Agriculture promotes overall development of coconut as part of a farming system whilst focusing on the rehabilitation of existing fields and plantations.

“This year the Ministry of Agriculture is allocated a budget of $45,000 under the coconut development program for the establishment of 1500 ha of coconut plantation across the coconut growing areas in Fiji,” he said.

Meanwhile, special guest, the High Commissioner of India, Padamaja, said it was a happy occasion for the Copra Millers Fiji Limited.

“I wish you all the very best and hope that this new capacity addition and commissioning of machinery will boost productivity and benefit this sector of the Fijian economy,” Mrs. Padamaja said.

Mrs. Padamaja said as a committed development partner, India had been collaborating with the Government of Fiji, especially in the Agriculture sector.

She said they could organise special training in the field of copra also.

Chief Executive Officer of Copra Millers Fiji Ltd, Raj Sharma said they produced $3M sales but crude oil of which they get 20 percent local share, which was $0.600M against local import of $30M.

“In the next three years, we are looking to take at least five percent of the market as additional,” Mr Sharma said.

“We seriously looking at inner focussed of this sales with crude oil to replace others- Fiji’s coconut is regarded as the finest oil,” he said.

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