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Copra Millers Seek $0.5m Funding For New Capital Investment

Copra Millers of Fiji Limited has requested Government for $0.5 million funding allocation for capital investment in the 2016/17 National Budget. This is to enable the state-owned enterprise to invest
15 Jun 2016 10:17
Copra Millers Seek $0.5m Funding For New Capital Investment
Working at a copra mill.

Copra Millers of Fiji Limited has requested Government for $0.5 million funding allocation for capital investment in the 2016/17 National Budget.

This is to enable the state-owned enterprise to invest in a whole coconut processing facility to be setup in Savusavu. The plant will then manufacture a variety of coconut products.

This has been one of the submissions by Copra Millers of Fiji to Government for the next National Budget which will be announced next Wednesday.

Company acting general manager, John Deo, said with the facility setup, farmers will just bring the whole coconut to factory and all work will be done by machines.

He said all components of whole coconut will be used to make products.

“Our aim is to move away from copra into high value coconut products like Virgin coconut oil, coconut water, coconut flour, coir, activated carbon, animal feed and other byproducts of coconut,” he said.

Copra Millers has started with investment into Virgin Coconut Oil plant which is expected to be commissioned by September this year.

 

Copra price support

The other submission has been to increase raw material copra supply to $0.5 million or review the copra price support level from current $780/tonne to $900/tonne.

Mr Deo said: “We request Government to provide raw material copra price support of $100/tonne to Copra Millers of Fiji.

“The estimated copra purchase for 2016 is 5000 tonnes with total funding coming to $500,000. This can also be done by increasing the copra price support level from $780 to $900 per tonne of copra.”

 

Impact and the need

The grant to Copra Millers of Fiji is expect to have a positive effect on company operations, livelihood of Fijians and the economy.

“This should also include direct benefits to the company operations and impacts on the whole supply chain,” Mr Deo said.

“Yes, government funding is necessary for sustainable development and growth of the Fijian coconut industry.

“There was no development of new products by the company since it established.

“The company is not in a position to pay better prices for farmers since it is selling single product which is also exposed to world market price fluctuations.

“The government support is needed to grow the company into diversified products giving multiple products and revenue streams.

“With multiple products, the company will be in a position to pay farmers better price for raw materials and bring the glory days of Fijian coconut industry.

“Government support is needed up to the stage of upgrading the current facility into Whole Coconut Processing and the company will be self-sufficient.”

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