BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
THE Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) held an impressive presentation with officials of the government and private sectors in coconut industry yesterday at Mendana Hotel.
The Pacific Coconut Community workshop is about coconut development and innovation with an aim to collaborate for sustaining coconut sector in Solomon Islands.
Outcome from yesterday’s event put Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and relevant stakeholders a way forward for re-considering coconut industry here.
MCILI’s Permanent Secretary Mr Riley Mesepitu said presentation from the workshop gives significant insights for motivation to do better for Solomon Islands in terms of coconut industry.
He said on country’s policy level there is a gap need to fill-up which require proper coordination and collaboration from Government and relevant stakeholders.
“I would suggest after this meeting when budget approve in parliament we will organize a stakeholders forum in coconut in collaboration with MAL so can we can see look into our commitment and engagement in coconut industry,” Mesepitu said.
Mesepitu said now they will look at strengthening the local farmer’s level to policy level.
Permanent Secretary for MAL, Mr Jimmi Saelea said coming of APCC to Solomon Islands has given re-direction and encourage coconut sectors to do something seriously about coconut industry.
Saelea said development of coconut industry in Solomon Islands is a serious matter for country to address its challenges faced over the years.
“We have coconut out there but production is quite low compare to other countries and that area we need to work on as well,” PS Saelea said.
The workshop is organise by MCILI and facilitated by Dr Uron Salum, Director General of the APCC.
The APCC now changed to International Coconut Community (ICC) is an intergovernmental organisation of coconut producing countries organized in 1969 under the aegis of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).
The ICC Secretariat is located in Jakarta, Indonesia and is headed by an executive director.
ICC has 18 coconut producing member countries accounting for over 90 percent of world coconut production and exports of coconut products.
Member countries include Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.