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Coconut Product Diversification And Marketing In Fiji

The paper indicates that National Coconut Industry has reached a crucial stage of its development that it warrants value addition and Global marketing efforts. This is important for alleviating the present gloomy situation. The paper highlights activities that are being carried out with participation of the private sector and catalyzed by government policies and legislation. Current activities in value addition followed by marketing in the US has been experienced lately in the production of cold pressed or virgin oil. It is sold in the US market for US$30 per liter. Twelve units of Direct Micro Expeller distributed to farmers by government for the production of oil but not all are working. Other products made from this oil are soap and body cream, insect repellent and shampoo which are both exported and sold locally. In addition, coconut timber utilization for high valued furniture is an important industry earning approximately over US $3 million in the year 2002. For shell and leaves products, a lot is yet to be developed for income generation even though traditionally some products have been used. Another important development area is Biofuel for village electrification. In this activity, a Pilot project involving two villages has been running for 2 years now and also an R&D project is under way for the utilization of coconut fuel in vehicles. In its development stage the project would use all the coconut oil produced at the copra mill in Savusavu. The above are all important and interesting developments but the setback is that farmers remain poor and consequently they do not desire to replant and maintain their coconut fields. The major challenge is how to increase farmers’ as well as women's income. A COGENT research project is presently being implemented to assist in this direction.

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