World Coconut Day Commemorated in Bureiwai

September 14, 2022

The 2022 World Coconut Day was commemorated at Matainananu Village in Bureiwai, Ra with the theme “Growing Coconut for a Better Future and Life”.

As part of these commemorative celebrations, 100 coconut seedlings were planted in Matainananu Village to mark World Coconut Day. In conjunction, ten villages in the province of Ra namely Naivoco, Matainananu, Delaiyadua, Nadogoloa, Nayavutoka, Nabukadra, Verevere, Saioko, Namarai and Naocobau will pledge to plant 1,000 seedlings each over the next 6 months.

While officiating during the celebrations, Permanent Secretary for Youth and Sports Mr Rovereto Nayacalevu called on the youth of the village to set clear goals and be, like a coconut tree, useful in all aspects of their lives.

“We’re here to celebrate this tree of life, the coconut tree is a tree from which a lot of things can be made, it is useful and abundant, so, like it, I ask our young people to set their vision and grow and be worthy citizens of the country,” said Mr Nayacalevu.

In his statement, the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Dr Vinesh Kumar said the main objective of celebrating the day was to create awareness about the importance of coconuts and its benefits.

“Apart from generating income, coconuts help to sustain household food and nutrition and alleviate poverty. About 120,000 of our rural population depend on the industry as their main source of food and livelihood.

“Copra remains the most traded coconut commodity in Fiji with Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) production rapidly gaining popularity amongst rural and maritime communities. In 2021, Fiji exported around $6m worth of coconut products (in the form of VCO, Copra, Oil Cake and other products) placing coconut as one of Fiji’s top 5 agricultural export commodities,” said PS Kumar.

Over the past five years (2017-2021), average Coconut production was 2133.2mt (having an equivalent 19% growth rate). In 2021, the Coconut volume of production was 20,012mt and this is anticipated to improve with the support provided by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Coconut’s resilience has encouraged the Government to continue to rehabilitate and develop this industry subsequently supporting an estimated 100,000 farmers who are dependent on it for livelihood,” said Dr Kumar.

He added that the Ministry of Agriculture promoted the overall development of coconut as part of a farming system whilst focusing on the rehabilitation of existing plantations.

PS Kumar also elaborated that this year, the Ministry of Agriculture had allocated a budget of $350,000 under the Coconut Farming Program for the establishment of 1,000 hectares of coconut plantation across the coconut growing areas in Fiji. 

“An additional $1.2m is further allocated to help Fiji Coconut Millers stabilize farm gate prices of Copra with a minimum guaranteed gate price from $1,000 to $1,350 per ton of Copra. This is anticipated to help farmers consider reinvesting back into Copra,” he said.

World Coconut Day is focused on;

1.    Increasing Coconut Production, Farm Productivity and Farmers' Income,

2.    Promote Value-Added Coconut Product Processing and Marketing and

3.  Promote Capacity Building and Institutional Support to ensure the sustainability of development interventions.