Twenty-seven diverse experts and stakeholders from the coconut industry refined and finalised the “Coconut Risk Management and Mitigation Manual for the Pacific Region” in a 4-day regional Pacific training, this week in Nadi.
The training was a follow-up of the successful workshop organised by the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Coconut Industry Development Programme (CIDP) in April 2018, that resulted in participants agreeing on twenty-four technical recommendations, as well as an online survey about incentives and risks disseminated to more than a thousand coconut stakeholders worldwide in June 2018.
The training’s objective is twofold: first, it endeavors to train regional participants on risk mitigation in the Pacific’s coconut sector. Secondly, it is working with agriculture officers, entomologists, scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs from fourteen Pacific island nations completed the manual which the Pacific island countries can use to strengthen their coconut industry.
As coconut is one of the Pacific’s most valuable resource at a commercial and a subsistence level, huge threats and risks like stronger cyclones due to climate change, pest and disease outbreaks, poor agriculture practices and others, can severely affect the sustainable livelihoods of farmers and their families, rural women, small producers, and ultimately, whole Pacific Island economies.
Dr. Roland Bourdeix, a Senior Researcher from The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) who has led a number of projects and expert missions related to coconut agriculture in more than forty tropical countries, is facilitating the rigorous training and consultations to twenty-seven participants. He states, “A recent risk assessment estimated that Pacific island countries together suffer $US284 million (or nearly 2% in regional GDP) in economic losses from natural disasters annually. To put that into perspective, risks like these that pertain to climate change and hazards constitute only 4 of the 38 identified risks to the Pacific’s coconut industry.”
This is part of the CIDP project, a EUR 4 million (FJD 9.3 million) joint initiative of SPC, the European Union, and the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) States, that believes in the critical nature of this training and the subsequent publishing of the manual for widespread use.
CIDP Team Leader Naheed Hussein says, “CIDP has brought together a diverse group of coconut industry stakeholders from around the region who can significantly contribute to the completion of this manual. So far, a large number of risks have been identified as threats to the sector, and it is CIDP’s priority to ensure mitigation strategies are put into place to protect, preserve and strengthen the coconut industry.”
About Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific (CIDP):
The Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific 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 EUR 4 million.
For more information visit: https://lrd.spc.int/coconut-industry-development-for-the-pacific
Naheed Hussein - Team Leader, CIDP (Ag), Land Resources Division, SPC | Email: [email protected], Telephone: +679 3370733 ext. 35518
Mary Rokonadravu – Adviser - Information, Communications and Knowledge Management; Land Resources Division (LRD), SPC | Email: [email protected], Telephone: +679 337 0733 ext. 35514