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Making An Impact Through MSMEs

The Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil business on Rabi is a community based project established for the Banaban Women’s Organization through the assistance of Government’s Integrated Human Resources Development Programme (IHRDP)
14 Oct 2021 10:00
Making An Impact Through MSMEs
Staff outside the VCO processing plant with coconuts bought from locals and Production staff using electric coconut scrapers.

The Banaban Virgin Coconut Oil business on Rabi is a community based project established for the Banaban Women’s Organization through the assistance of Government’s Integrated Human Resources Development Programme (IHRDP) implmented by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade,Tourism and Transport.

The new business was assisted in 2013 through funding received from IHRDP, which saw the provision of $15,000 worth of building materials to construct the VCO factory that is located in Tabiang on Rabi Island.

Production started in 2014 with further assistance of  $13,000 from the Rabi Council of Leaders.

The business began producing 250 litres of virgin coconut oil per month which sold at $20 per litre, successfully meeting fortnightly expenditures of staff wages and FNPF contributions, payout to coconut suppliers, purchase of bottles, labels, repair costs for machinery, equipments and travel expenses for marketing purposes.

The business temporarily closed down in March 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, causing loss of income to the Banaban community who depend on the business for their livelihood.

However, in October of 2020 the business resumed operations through savings and income received from their Suva retailers.

Banaban VCO business employs 6 fulltime staff consisting of 4 females and 2 male staff.

Unfortunately due to the impacts brought about by COVID-19, 3 staff have been laid off temporarily however they will be re-engaged once business picks up.

They have assisted more than 200 women to generate income through the purchase of husked coconuts and handmade woven baskets for marketing and retail purposes.

Over the years, excellent team work and support from the local community has helped the business to remain afloat during trying times.

Recently the business gained organic certification which will most certainly boost their marketing.

“A small business that utilizes natural resources which are readily available is an amazing way to serve and make an impact in the community you live in,” shares the Founder and Operations Manager, Ms. Terikano Takesau.

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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