There is an urgent need to replace the ageing coconut trees in the Western Division and an even greater urgency in establishing coconut plantations in the West.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Dr Mahendra Reddy while meeting with villagers of the five villages, Uto, Waqadra, Vunamoli, Nawaqadamu and Logi recently.
Dr Reddy says that the bulk of coconuts (copra) produced in Fiji was taken mainly from the Northern Division, particularly from the province of Cakaudrove with a large production specifically from the island of Taveuni.
Coconut Farm. [File Photo]
He adds that the Ministry of Agriculture would provide the needed support to interested farmers who had land available to plant coconut trees and establish a fully commercial coconut plantation, but the onus remained on farmers to show their intent.
Reddy also shared that the increase in the price of copra, which was at its highest at the moment, was due to the product being exported and this had led to healthy competition in the copra industry.
The Coconut Programme had an allocation of $150,000.00 in the 2021-2022 Budget to help promote coconut farming in the Western Division through the provision of seed nuts to farmers, supporting the Ministry’s objective of expanding the establishment of coconut plantations within the division.