Coconuts a lifeline for Rotuman

February 29, 2024 5:55 am

Around 40 participants are being trained in the 16th Whole Nut Processing Training in Juju Village which is being facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways Research Division.

The participants represent all seven districts on the island and have been fully engaged in the hands-on training.

Principal Research Officer Agronomy, Amena Banuve and his support team have been leading the training and have stressed the importance of coconuts and their ability to assist families in earning additional income.

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Banuve highlights the value addition of coconuts as it empowers them to make use of the abundance of coconut resources to sustain their livelihoods.

The Principal Research Officer adds this training aims to demonstrate to coconut farmers and stakeholders the diverse range of coconut products that can be derived from different parts of the coconut, including the husk, kernel, shells, and water.

The training covers the production of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), soap making, Magimagi (coconut fibre cordage), coconut chips, and coconut handicrafts.

These products offer an alternative revenue stream and have export potential, especially considering the presence of different fruit fly strains on the island.

Currently, into the third week of training, participants learnt more about the importance of soil health, how to take soil samples, learnt the benefits of coconut, and tree crop varieties and their uses.

The training will end this week and it is envisaged that the participants will be able to start their niche markets using the abundant resources around them.