THE Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) aims to buy 40,000 coconuts from farmers throughout Fiji every month.
This, as the authority has started its virgin coconut oil production in Nausori.
Authority sales and marketing manager Alivereti Yaya yesterday said they had started buying coconuts from Yacata Island in Cakaudrove, Moala in Lau and Rotuma.
"We have started processing virgin coconut oil and last month, we bought coconuts from farmers in Lau, Cakaudrove and Rotuma," he said.
"Our aim is to buy 40,000 coconuts every month at a cost of 40 cents per nut.
"So far, we have produced about 220 litres of oil and we are just waiting for the labelling and design works on the products.
"Once this is done, the oil will be ready for the market at a reasonable cost.
"Right now, we are just targeting our local markets as we are still working on promoting our products overseas. We will soon have a promotional tour to New Zealand and Australia and hopefully, we will extend our markets there."
At the same time, Mr Yaya has encouraged coconut farmers to plant and produce more nuts.
"Farmers don't have to approach us with their coconuts. Instead, we will go and buy from them.
"For us, this is one way of economically empowering the rural people and financially assisting them."