The coconut is invaluable symbol of the Pacific with immense value, both culturally and economically. Coconuts have huge potential to support sustainable and healthy rural livelihoods, driving employment, income generation and economic growth for smallholder communities. They play a steadfast role in communities and cultures across the region.
Given the role of this invaluable Pacific Asset, SPC’s Land Resources Division partnered with the European Union and 15 Pacific Island countries to implement the Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP) project from 2016 – 2019. The project worked to improve the competitiveness of small coconut producers at the regional level, focusing on training and awareness.
The newly released Coconut Risk Manual emerged from CIDP activities. The manual was compiled from an online survey on incentives and risks in the coconut trade, in addition to data collected from participants in a 2018 CIDP meeting. Coconut experts also contributed chapters.
The manual covers 40 identified risks to coconut development in Pacific Island countries, along with strategies for their mitigation. The wide diversity of themes in the manual include climate change and hazards, pests and diseases, planting material, agricultural practices, organizational and policy issues, post-harvest and processing, economics and marketing, and socio-cultural habits. Manual contributors include 52 professionals from 26 countries, of which 19 represent the Pacific, with 7 contributors from Africa, Asia, and Europe. As an extensive overview of the Pacific ‘Tree of Life’, it will serve as a prime resource for farmers and coconut producing communities in the years ahead.