SI coconut industry progress under threat

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BY ALICE NANTARA

SOLOMON Islands Coconut Industry progress is still under threat and nothing much can be done about the CRB crisis.

RECENTLY Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and reps from the Industry Working Group (IWG) joins Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP) for a meeting in Fiji on December 11-12, 2017.

The two days seminar was led by Rudolf Dora and aims to increase the understanding of the coconut value chain in the Pacific.

Meeting was initiated by the CIDP program to assist stakeholders and farmers within regional coconut industry to better understand the position and process of the coconut value chain and identify the gaps that exist along the sequence.

SICCI Export Industry & Development Officer (EIDO) Mr John Alasia voiced that indeed the value chain is an important aspect to the development of coconut industry and it is vital that farmers and stakeholders have a better understanding of the value chain and be able to remain competitive as the market changes.

According to Mr Dora, SI coconut industry has a great potential in contributing millions to the country’s stressed economy and this depends largely on the kind of approach chosen and initiated.

Our country produces around 370 million coconut fruits per year.

Mr Dora also suggested that one better way of getting the coconut industry to perform up to its full potential and adding more value was by including technological innovative measures.

“Technological innovative measures will surely be in the interest of coconut farmers who have been struggling for a better way of improving their livelihoods through money they can make from their coconut trees.”

However, despite all the good outcomes emphasised during the meeting, one thing that is surely down playing the benefits farmers can expect from their coconut trees is the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CRB) crisis that has steadily but surely spreading out in the provinces and diminishing coconut plantations.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has confirmed that they’re still working on counter measures to minimise the widespread damage caused by CRB and hopefully soon they can contain the situation.

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