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Strategies For Effective Utilization Of Technology Transfer To The Coconut Community : The Role Of International Institutionals

In order to increase agricultural productivity in coconut-producing countries, the international community has been stepping up its agricultural development assistance activities - particularly in the area of technology transfer - which now comprise a variety of approaches (e.g., development of high-yielding varieties; and disease resistance, micro-scale processing advancements, y product wastage utilization, practice of optimization. and econometric modeling theory to affect profitability, etc.). The coconut sector, however, largely has not gained from this assistance and/or approaches.  As many coconut-producing countries; face the same set of global issues -- increases in population, overcultivation of land, excessive grazing, excessive slash-and-burn agriculture, and the continued use of trees for fuel -they also are experiencing a steadily worsening environmental problem, including deterioration or depletion of rain forests, desertification, and soil erosion. This situation has created a strong need for institutions or agents; to facilitate appropriate technology to help establish sustainable agriculture that is compatible with environmental conservation.  These agents of technology transfer have at their proposal a wealth in terms of human and financial resources--of agricultural and industrial innovations that, while benefitting a few, could be utilized by the coconut-growing and processing community. Obvious benefits are in the arena of efficiency; increasing yields, reducing waste, refinement of production technique, and product diversification. Clearly, technology, when adapted for a positive use, provides the coconut community with a wealth of opportunity.  This paper identifies; the private and public sector developers, innovators; and disseminators (i.e. agents) of technology transfer relevant to the coconut community. It also describes strategies for obtaining or technical know-how for use by different sized producer countries: (i) small island producers, who are faced with unique obstacles to technology transfer; (ii) medium-size producer countries with growing domestic consumption of raw materials as well as downstream goods, which are well suited for implementing inexpensive production techniques; and (iii) large producer countries with significant export capabilities and considerable wastage material, which are in an excellent position to revamp the by-product sectors with the latest high-efficiency conversion technology, as well as benefit from new econometric modeling for increasing profitability of each sector or commodity.  The international community, by providing appropriate technology from, principally, the U.S. and Japan, can help increase coconut sector productivity in producer countries. The strategies outlined in this paper will provide the coconut community with the necessary first step towards obtaining such technologies and innovations.

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