Coconut training participants eager to start making own by-products

April 4, 2022

Participants were eager to start their own coconut by-products after successfully completing the week-long 15th Coconut Wholenut Processing training in Ba last week.

Ms Loraini Bula of Togalevu, Ba said she learnt a lot in the training especially knowing that there was more to just grating coconuts to make coconut milk.

“I've learned a lot, from the planting of coconut to the making of VCO (virgin coconut oil) and soap. This will also help us to at least do something for ourselves and give something back to our families. We all know only of grating the coconut and throwing away the shell. Now we know to start collecting the shells so we can make use of it,” she said.

Farmer and social worker, Ms Sulochna Wati Sharma of Vaqia, Ba plans to make yaqona cups, coconut candy, and coconut soap, amongst other coconut by-products.

“Coconut is a precious gift that is such that nothing is wasted. Everything is used. We learnt about the varieties of coconuts such as Mua hybrid, Malayan and others. We also learn how to make our product, how we sell it, how we market it. I learnt that I have to continue my projects to make it successful and sell it in the communities, in the tourism industry, and on the roadside as well,” she said.

Ministry of Agriculture Permanent Secretary, Vinesh Kumar congratulated all the more than 30 participants for successfully completing the program.

He said the Ministry was committed to rehabilitating the coconut industry support and constructively promoting the use of coconut for nutrition and health.

“I hope this training has prepared you well to explore avenues in the industry that will improve your livelihood and overall income as well as create employment opportunities. It will also enable you to adopt approaches that will increase your production or value-added coconut commodities like virgin oil, VCO, coconut milk, sugar and handicrafts,” he said.

He urged them to establish a network on the coconut value chain that would enhance the output of their coconut farming business.

“I hope you will take this knowledge back and share it among your communities.”

The Permanent Secretary also acknowledged the effort of the trainers and facilitators for organizing a well-thought-out program.

“I would like to thank each and every staff member; to everyone that has made this workshop possible. All those machines, all those charts, all those training - Thank you Dr. Rohit Lal for leading this team. I am very happy with the work that has been done.”