WORLD COCONUT DAY is observed on September 2 annually to commemorate the formation of
The International Coconut Community Secretariat (ICC) formerly known as the Asian Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) which Papua New Guinea (PNG) and all major coconut growing countries are members to.
The aim of observing this day is to appreciate the coconut crop but at the same time raise awareness about the importance and benefits of coconuts across various industries and the communities in the world that grow and depend on this crop for their livelihood.
Coconuts are members of the drupe family, and it is a fleshy fruit that has been planted in tropical regions. A rich source of electrolytes and lauric acid, coconuts contain many antioxidants and antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral. Coconuts are produced in more than 90 countries around the world. PNG is the largest coconut producer in the Pacific region.
The Coconut Palm Tree – also called “The Tree of Life” is the only tree on earth which every part can be used. It provides almost everything you need, to live in the tropics: food, drink, shade, shelter, clothing, fuel and much more. Over the years its value has only increased as coconuts and its by-products became more popular.
In PNG, the coconut industry is the fourth most significant agriculture cash crop in terms of its economic importance within the agriculture tree crop sector. Recent data indicates that the industry provides employment to over 2.6 million people either directly or indirectly and generates on average K150 million per year in terms of export revenue.
Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK), the Statutory, Regulatory Institution for the Coconut Industry in PNG has been implementing its plan to deliver prioritized coconut impact programs and projects consistent with our mission to improve productivity, production, product quality and market access of coconut products.
Over the medium term, advancements in downstream processing and value addition of Coconuts have given greater prominence to the need for diversification of coconut farming and the development of high value coconut products (HVCP). As a result, KIK formulated its Coconut Industry Strategic Plan 2016 – 2025 with the ultimate aim to both revitalize the industry as well as promote and capitalize on the opportunities presented within the development of the HVCP.
The coconut replanting and rehabilitation of coconut smallholder blocks and plantations. The coconut area in PNG is estimated at 221,000 hectares and more than 50% of the coconut stands we have in the country are between 60-80 years old. Although these coconut stands still produce nuts, they have lived beyond their economic potential. In addition, the demand for coconut products is increasing in the global market which gives rise to the importance of replanting of coconut.
Downstream processing and value addition of coconut into high value coconut products. Coconut for many decades have been played down by only producing traditional products including copra, copra oil and copra meal. The downstream processing and value addition of coconuts currently has reached 103 products. Production of high value coconut products enables farmers to earn higher income through different products. KIK has embarked on down- stream processing and value addition of high value coconut products using the micro, small to medium enterprises (MSMEs) which is working well for small coconut farmers.
Research and Development for coconut. R&D addresses all areas of coconut development including: breeding for conservation of germplasm and development of elite planting materials, agronomy and farming systems, biosecurity for pest and disease management, value addition and diversification
Farmer producer organizations through co-operative societies. The agency over the last five years has studied the development and marketing pathways for coconut farmers and have adopted the coconut farmer co-operatives concept. In developing the concept, four coconut farmer co-operatives have been established and trained on production, processing and marketing of their coconut products. The cooperatives are established as business entities supervised by the agency’s subsidiary the Coconut Resources Limited for an incubation period of 3-5 years before they are graduated as full-fledged business entity which can manage production, processing and marketing.
Review of the KIK Act 2002 and KIK Regulations 2002. The agency has seen the development changes in the industry and therefore has embarked on the review of the KIK Act 2002 and KIK Regulations 2002 which are nearing completion. The review of the Act and Regulations is important because the industry has evolved from production of traditional coconut products to processing of high value coconut products and other areas including rehabilitation of rundown plantations and interest for industry investment.
KIK is committed to deliver its programs and projects in line with the Marape/Rosso Government’s vision in building PNG through the investment and development of the green economy which coconut falls under.
Authorized by The Managing Director of Kokonas Indastri Koporesen Mr. Alan Aku