Generation gap hinders coconut industry growth

May 14, 2024 6:31 am

The Fiji coconut industry is facing challenges due to a generation gap, as only a specific group of individuals actively contributes to the sector.

This concern was emphasized by Michael Lal, the Acting Chief Executive of Coconut Millers Limited, who stated that currently, they have only 347 registered farmers, comprising 284 males and merely 90 females.

Lal says they have a lot of seasonal farmers in the industry.

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“They probably just come two to three times a year because they are engaged in yaqona, dalo and other things. And they only come once in a while. And we have been encouraging them also to become active in our active list.”

Lal says Coconut Millers Board has made 25 visits to the various villages since last October to encourage the youths to engage in coconut farming.

“We’ve been told they’d rather be on the phone and on the internet rather than collecting coconut or actually husking, taking out the copra. So that’s a challenge that we have at the moment.”

The Copra Millers Limited is also looking at securing funding to provide copra dryers to female farmers in villages, so they can venture into successful businesses.