FIJI'S 'Plant a million coconut trees' program launched at the 49th Asia and Pacific Coconut Committee ministerial meeting has received praise from the APCC secretariat.
APCC executive director Romulo Arancon Jnr, whilst speaking at the opening of the meeting said: "I am very pleased to note that during this meeting the government of the Republic of Fiji will launch the one million seedlings program for coconut planting and replanting especially in the coastal areas in the west part of Fiji.
"We are certain that all policy makers agree that increasing coconut farm productivity and income will not only ensure food security among rural people but will also contribute to supply reliability and global competitiveness of the coconut industry.
"These efforts are indeed consistent with the UN Millennium Development Goals to Alleviate Poverty in the country side".
Mr Arancon said governments must provide appropriate budgets for coconut planting and replanting and extend technical assistance to small coconut farm holders.
"It may also be wise to link the national coconut planting and replanting program and other coconut rehabilitation programs to the appropriations to the economic stimulus package for country side development and even in some countries the conditional cash transfer program of the government.
"The youth and schoolchildren must also be involved in these programs as they do in coconut festivals in Samoa, Sri Lanka, India and other member countries," Mr Arancon said.