Fiji Coconut Millers Pte Board chair, Raj Sharma.
The devastation in Vanua Levu caused by constant cyclones has led to copra shortage in the country.
Fiji Coconut Millers Pte Board chair, Raj Sharma, says the Cakaudrove province in particular, was the major supplier of copra before Tropical Cyclones Winston (2016), Yasa (2020) and Ana (2021).
Sharma says now the focus has turned to alternative suppliers in the maritime islands to meet market demands.
“When we talk about copra, it comes to anything regarding the number of people working on the farms, the old age farmers, the pick-up of coconuts that fall down in the farms are factors that is contributing to the shortage in copra.”
Sharma says it will take a few more years for copra production to recover in Vanua Levu.
In the meantime, the Fiji Coconut Millers Pte is working with the Ministry of Agriculture to initiate coconut tree planting for interested farmers.
Sharma says now is the best time to be involved in the copra farming, with the market price selling at $1, 500 per ton.