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FIJI TIMES ONLINE Luke Rawalai Saturday, June 01, 2013

COMMUNITY and group representatives participating in a three-week training workshop at the Mua Wholenut Processing Center on Taveuni are learning to produce charcoal from coconut shells.

Acting agricultural officer at the Mua Research Center Susana Yalikanacea said there were many uses for charcoal including medicinal purposes.

Mrs Yalikanacea said the best provider of these fine charcoals were those made from burnt coconut shells.

"The by-product of coconuts that we use for virgin coconut oil production at the processing centre are therefore fully utilised in this way," she said.

"The burnt coconut shells are pounded to fine powder and sieved so that we can get the finest charcoal powder.

"The medicinal value of charcoal is being recognised globally and is being included in the various detox programs carried out locally."

Mrs Yalikanacea said centre participants were being taught how to produce charcoal to generate income.

"Charcoal is even incorporated into other products such as soap for medicinal bath soaps.

"Participants of the workshop will learn to use other parts of the coconut and the plant to generate income.

"The demand for charcoal as a medicine is slowly building and with it the market. So we are training participants to be knowledgeable in producing these forms of produce in their own backyards."

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