SUNBIZ

Conference Coconut industry sustains $8m loss

  A high-level international forum has been told the monetary value of the loss to our coconut industry from Cyclone Winston is estimated to be $8 million. The Assistant Minister
26 May 2016 12:56
Conference Coconut industry sustains $8m loss
Assistant Minister for Agriculture Joeli Cawaki receiving the APCC Plaque of Appreciation from Thomas Lembong, Indonesian Minister for Trade. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS

 

A high-level international forum has been told the monetary value of the loss to our coconut industry from Cyclone Winston is estimated to be $8 million.

The Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Rural & Maritime Development, and National Disaster Management, Joeli Cawaki, made these comments in Indonesia.

He is leading a delegation at the 52nd Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) Session and Ministerial meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The meeting is being hosted by the Ministry of Trade of the Indonesian Government and runs from May 23 to 26.

Mr Cawaki said: “While efforts are underway to rehabilitate the industry, bringing the industry to full production may take four to six years.”

He explained other challenges in Fiji’s coconut industry included the distance from overseas markets, the distance between smaller islands within Fiji as well as lack of appropriate infrastructure especially on smaller islands.

Mr Cawaki reiterated Fiji needs to align more closely with big coconut producers in the Asia/Pacific Region because of our advanced technology and in-depth technical knowledge of the crop.

He stressed Fiji was actively considering fast-tracking some key issues such as; the formation of manageable units (Associations/Clusters), clearing of senile palms, planting and replanting of high-yielding varieties.

This, he said, would be in addition to crop and product diversification, developing local demand, improving preparedness to Climate Change and strengthening market access through Fiji’s bilateral relations.

 

The forum

The session was opened by the Minister of Trade for Indonesia, Thomas T. Lembong, who provided the inaugural address to more than 50 delegates from 18 countries represented at the Session.

Mr Lembong stated the strategic direction of the APCC should be to ensure the coconut industry continues to portray the premium nature of the product.

He said in this spirit, it must be marketed as a niche product for the high-end of the market and effort must be taken not to commoditize it as a bulk product.

At the Session, the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Jitendra Singh was also appointed to the APCC Technical and Policy Advisory Group.

The Group will provide technical and policy advice, coordinate the development of relevant projects and programme proposals and facilitate identification of fund sources and generate funds to support APCC approved projects.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper