BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
A family from the Guadalcanal plains in Guadalcanal province are appealing for help as their livelihood is being slowly ripped apart before their eyes.
Their once lucrative coconut plantation is heavily infested with the dreaded coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB).
The beetle has killed off a significant portion of the family plantation, to the point where school fees, family needs and cultural responsibilities are being impacted.
Drive up to the Guadalcanal plains, you will notice the Boboli family coconut plantation on the left side with telltale signs of CRB presence in the palm trees.
The coconut plantation has been under the family mantle for decades, driving the family status upwards – until the beetle arrived.
Recently, Island Sun met up with the Bobolis and they shared their situation regarding the impact of CRB on their lives.
“Not only were that but their sago palm and beetle-nut also attracting by beetles,” Mrs Boboli said.
She said they experience the trend in 2017, and it comes for good affecting the coconut, palm tree, beetle-nut and sago palm—those are source of income.
“Now we find it difficult to find coconut because all our coconut trees have been cut down and destroyed by beetle,” she adds.
She said years ahead they will be left with nothing.
“We have no money for replanting and for us in the plains coconut is one of our main incomes.
“There are many things coming from the coconut, example we use coconut for milk in our daily cookings, marketing and other beneficial factors but now we face big problem with our coconut being attack by CRB.”
Boboli said their copra production is now declining.
“Now there is no copra unlike before our copra production was high. Now we will go to the shops to pay for cooking stuffs which is totally against our healthy living,” Boboli said.
“GPPOL is lucky enough because it’s a company which easy for them to replant unlike we have no choice but allow beetles eat our coconut.”
She said money is one reason their family encountered as challenge for replanting.
Currently, Boboli said family has no idea to tackle the situation and they want help from organizations in the country.
“We don’t know how to prevent this situation and it is something that we need help from organisations in the country.”
“We need help from experts or organizations in the country to visits us rural farmers to reduce the population of beetle.”