The Minister for Agriculture Dr Mahendra Reddy assured farmers and millers that the Government would continue to support the coconut industry.
Dr Reddy said this was because of the history behind this industry and the high economic potential it carries.
He made the comment while commissioning a dehusking machine, a deshelling machine and a Hot Air Dryer for the Copra Millers of Fiji Limited in Savusavu yesterday.
“We will continue to support copra, and coconut industry because of the simple fact that coconut is a tree of life. Coconut provides a nutritious source of food, juice, mil, and oil that has fed and nourished Fijians people for generations,” Minister Reddy said.
“It is a very versatile crop, it survives different weather conditions and one of the toughest cyclones in Fiji’s History. It is an industry that we want to continuously promote.”
He said the new machines purchased by the Copra Millers would help make the production rate faster and also more efficiently.
“The new machines and Hot Air Dryer will assist in producing Food Grade Coconut Oil for human consumption in the local markets,” Dr Reddy said.
“Fiji Imports 17,000 tons of vegetable oils valued at $20 million per year.
“By introducing Coconut Oil as cooking oil we are targeting to reduce the imported oil by 5 per cent.”
He also commissioned the new Agro Marketing Authority (AMA) Processing Facility in Savusavu this afternoon.