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Farm-Level Coconut Oil Production: A Brighter Future For Remote South Pacific Locations

The goal of the recent UN’s Global Conference on Sustain­ able Development of Small Island Developing States was to prepare a strategy for sustainable development specific to small islands. At the UN's Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, small islands were designated as a vulnerable group warranting special international attention.The objective is sustainable development. This paper sets out the hypothesis that coconuts represent a naturally sustainable resource. Coconut palms are ideally suited to island environments. They are one of few plants that tolerate poor sandy soils with saline water, and which survive frequent cyclones. However, resources have to be converted into useable products if they are to earn incomes. For many island states, copra cannot be used locally. It has to be exported and the processed coconut oil im­ ported. Such re-imported oil is very expensive and not available to the local population.

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