Resilience of coconut industry encourages Government

Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy with participants and equipment supplied to them at the end of their workshop. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE coconut industry serves significant importance to the Fijian economy because of its contribution to economic and social well-being for many of those in rural areas.

While closing the Whole Nut Processing Training at the Dreketi Agriculture Station today, Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy said the commodity had proven over the years to be an important source of livelihood for many rural and maritime people.

“Even though the performance of the industry has been on the decline since the 1970s,  its resilience has encouraged Government to continue to rehabilitate and develop this industry which supports an estimated 100,000 farmers who are dependent on it for livelihood,” said Dr Reddy.

“Coconuts provides a nutritious source of food, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished Fijian people for generations. This training has revived some of these memories amongst you trainees.”

Dr Reddy said “every part of the coconut tree and its fruit can be either consumed by humans or animals or converted into other valuable products”.

“If properly utilised, the coconut has the highest economic, value among the palm family.

“ This is why a coconut tree is normally referred to as the tree of life, man’s most useful tree, king of tropical flora, tree of abundance.”

Meanwhile, more than 20 participants from communities in the North graduated with certificates following the two-week training.

Participants were also issued with Virgin Coconut Oil producing equipment.

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