Copra remains most traded commodity: Vocea

Workshop participants plant coconut to commemorate the opening of their two-week workshop that started yesterday. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

COPRA remains the most traded coconut commodity in Fiji with Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) production rapidly gaining popularity among rural and maritime communities in Fiji.

Officiating at the Whole Nut Processing Training workshop at the Dreketi Agricultural Station in Macuata yesterday, Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea said in 1875, about 2400 tonnes of copra was exported.

Mr Vocea said two years later, with a production of 4372 tonnes and export earnings of $151,910, copra became Fiji’s principal coconut export.

“The copra production was over 40,000 tonnes in the year 1952 but recently, it has declined to about 2000 tonnes annually which is a 95 per cent reduction,” he said.

“The low production has been attributed to fluctuation in copra prices, high production costs, lack of initiative in replanting, shortage of copra cutters and lack of interest among the new generation.”

Mr Vocea said copra had also faced tough competition from lucrative cash crops such as dalo and yaqona.

Meanwhile, participants of the two-week long workshop will graduate with certificates at the end of the training.

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