BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
FOR 80 percent of the Solomon Islands population which are people living in rural areas, coconut is grown for a variety of uses and many depend on the crop for their source of income and livelihood.
This was expressed by the Government and Palm Industries CRB Taskforce report which highlights that although we are aware that crop is regarded as the most important crop in the country, most people don’t know the level of importance this one crop poses.
“Solomon Islands has about 40,000 families or 80 percent of the population, living in the rural areas. Most of these families grow coconuts for many different uses”
“Most Solomon Islands families, in villages and in towns, use coconuts for cooking, eating and drinking every day. This is estimated at nearly 200,000 nuts every day for food”, the report said.
In relation, the taskforce mention that about 400,000 to 600,000 nuts are used every day to produce copra.
On top of that, also stated is the value of copra exports at SI$300-400m per year comprising of raw copra, copra and virgin oil and copra byproducts.
Moreover, the CRB taskforce stresses that while most of the above income goes directly to the villages equivalent to a figure of SI$10,000 per household on a yearly basis from copra alone, the true value of the crop is much higher because it also provides income from domestic sales or through local use of coconut products.