Peter Kjaer, farmer from Taveuni discusses a point with Vijendra Kumar, Ministry of Agriculture Fiji, while Victor Mataora from Cook Islands looks on.
Aiming to improve the Pacific coconut sector’s competitiveness and sustainability, the Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP) project is conducting a technical workshop on coconut production and seed systems from 17-20 April 2018 in Nadi, Fiji.
The ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop, funded by the CIDP project which is administered by the Pacific Community (SPC) is a €4 million (FJD 9.3 million) joint initiative of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU) to strengthen the coconut sector in the Pacific region.
The workshop, for nationally nominated extension officers and coconut researchers, as well as NGO representatives, the University sector and private industry who are involved in coconut programs from around the Pacific, will explore nursery and planting techniques, traditional and organic management of coconut plantations, choice of planting materials, assessment methods for efficiency of replanting programmes, and the diffusion of information to coconut farmers.
Director of SPC’s Land Resources Division Jan Helsen says, “By training trainers we expect the learning to be spread as widely as possible to many coconut farmers in the region. This will assist their decision making between the options of what coconut varieties, intercropping, spacing and management to improve livelihood opportunities for farming households who choose to grow coconuts in the region.”
“The intensive 4-day training sessions will be led by Senior Researcher Dr Roland Bourdeix of CIRAD, who has conducted many projects and expert missions related to coconut agriculture in more than forty tropical countries. Apart from numerous plenary sessions, the group will also visit the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture’s LegaLega Research station to do ‘hands-on’ exercises in coconut nursery management and tree measurement.”
The workshop will also include in-depth discussion of the question of incentives for boosting coconut production. Recommendations and adaptations of training materials will be produced for participant use after the event.
Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP) is a joint initiative of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the European Union (EU) as part of a broader economic partnership between the EU and the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) states. The aim of CIDP is to bolster the coconut sector in the region through improving the competitiveness of small producers engaged in the coconut value chains, strengthening regional integration of related markets and the intensification of production across the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The programme runs from 2016-2018 and is valued at 4 million Euro.
The workshop also includes participants from Hawaii and French Polynesia, and has representation from the non-government organisations (NGO) known as PIFON (Pacific Islands Farmer Organisations Network) and POETCom (the Pacific Organic and Ethical Trade Community).
For more information visit the Coconut industry development for the pacific page.