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Strategic Efforts Taken In Vanuatu To Make Coconut Industry Competitive

The production and export volume of copra as well as export value have shown a declining trend since 2000. This is due to low production, depressed market and domestic processing of copra into oil. In 1989 a project for the "Production and dissemination of Improved Coconut Cultivars" was sanctioned for operation al the Saraoutou Station in Santo, Vanuatu. The objectives of the project are increasing the choice of hybrid coconut cultivars and improving the quality of planting material disseminated lo the farmers. At present the only hybrid materrial promoted is Improved Vanuatu Tall x Rennel Tall Besides conducting studies on the genetic improvement of coconut palm, the Saraoutou Station has also taken up studies on agronomy, coconut based farming system and product diversification. The use of coconut oil as a fuel subtitute in trucks and generators forms one of the priority areas of research.

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