“The Fiji Government remains committed to promoting the coconut industry, aiming to supplement income through increased coconut utilisation.”
This was highlighted by the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna, while officially opening the Bu Replanting and Coconut Training Workshop in Vakacoko settlement in Naboro today (04.01.24).
During his address, Hon. Tubuna highlighted the historical significance of coconuts in the Fijian diet, providing a rich source of nutrition through food, juice, milk, and oil for generations.
“As a source of antioxidants, consuming coconuts and their water can enhance immunity and combat diseases. Owing to their low calorie and high fiber content, diabetics can eat more coconuts to help manage their blood sugar levels”
Highlighting the deep-rooted history of the coconut industry, he emphasized the crucial role played by this “tree of life” in sustaining ordinary Fijian lives. With a lifespan of 60-80 years, a coconut tree is often referred to as a “three-generation tree,” supporting the farmer, their children, and grandchildren.
Hon. Tubuna also noted that copra remains the most traded coconut commodity in Fiji, with Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) production gaining popularity in rural and maritime communities.
“Fiji boasts approximately 10 million coconut trees spread across an area of around 65,000 hectares of land, with 70% located in the Northern division. However, 65% of these trees are senile and require replanting.”
The Assistant Minister also shared that the focus of the training is to economically empower and enhance the Bu coconut knowledge base in rural communities.
He emphasized that the training aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills for sustainable Bu replanting, promoting livelihoods in the process.
“The purpose of this training is to foster interest among farmers and landowners in revitalising the coconut industry. It emphasizes improving efficiency, instilling enthusiasm for establishing profitable coconut plantations, and transitioning from conventional copra production to processing whole nuts.”
“According to our initial survey, Suva requires approximately 5,000 Bu nuts daily, but we are unable to meet this demand, hence the initiation of this program.”