THE Department of Agriculture has paved a way forward for copra farmers through the establishment of a 'Whole Nut Process' centre.
The machinery that is based at the Agriculture Centre in Mua, Taveuni will train and teach farmers how to make good use of coconuts.
Principal agricultural officer north John Cox said the centre provided many ideas and ways of earning money through copra.
"Right now, most farmers are just concentrating on drying and selling copra.
"The new centre will teach farmers how to make use of coconut shells, its husk and even the juice," Mr Cox said.
"So from one coconut, there are many other things that can be made for example, a belt made out of coconut shells which is being sold in the market for about $20 or $30," he said.
"And that is the belt alone made from shells.
"Farmers can also use shells to make buttons or sell it to clients who can make buttons and decorations out of it."
Mr Cox said making use of a whole coconut would profit a farmer instead of just selling the dried flesh.
"In selling dried copra, the shell, juice and husk is not made use of but thrown away and that is money being thrown away."
"That is why the centre, set up by the Department of Agriculture, will set a platform on the way forward for copra farmers in Fiji," Mr Cox said.
He said high interest and positive response had been received from farmers and even villagers who own copra farms.
"It is a good opportunity for farmers to expand their income from using all parts of the coconut and we will work closely with them," Mr Cox said.
"The centre will train, teach and guide farmers on some ways of using parts of the coconuts so they can expand their copra business," he said.