WOMEN in Fiji can now bank on coconut trees around them to earn them extra dollars.
This is depending on the outcome of talks between the Minister for Women Dr Jiko Luveni and coconut industry stakeholders in Kerala, India. Dr Luveni is in Kerala, popularly known as God's Own Country, where coconuts are an integral part of the culture.
From food to religious ceremonies, the coconut is mentioned in every place in the state. Fiji High Commissioner in India Yogesh Karan, who accompanied Dr Luveni to Kerala, said there were discussions on how Fiji women could be more involved in the coconut industry back home.
"We are here to see ways in which this industry can be revived and make sure it reaches its full potential," he said.
Mr Karan said there was a need to look beyond the current capability and capacity of the local coconut industry.
"We are looking at ways to help the women of Fiji know about the different uses of the coconut and its potential to help them with their livelihood," he said.
Dr Luveni and Mr Karan visited the Coconut Research Station at Kerala Agricultural University this week where they saw first-hand how coconut trees form a crucial part of the lifestyle, economy and geography of Kerala.