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ABOUT 615,000 coconut trees need to be planted yearly in order to achieve the targeted increase of 30,000 metric tonnes of copra which will take 25 years, according to the proposed Copra Millers of Fiji Limited Reform Framework.
"This target planting needs to be carefully supplemented with proper and efficient farming practices for maximum economic returns to plantation owners and other stakeholders," said a Ministry for Agriculture report.
The report said the planting subsidy similar to that introduced in the late 1960s could be re-established to boost copra production, and this could include both sea and land freight subsidy for transportation.
"It is evident that the major problem is the insufficient quantum of copra supply to the mill," the report said.
However, it added a segment of the review should focus on the mill itself, particularly upgrades that have been particularly undertaken, and maintenance schedules.
"There's a need to identify strategic partners interested in investing in the company through partial or total purchase of government shares," the report said.
Options are being explored to develop a partnership with the Center for Development of Public Enterprise (CDE) in Brussels to fund a feasibility study into Virgin Coconut Oil and refined ***Beach Deodorised Coconut Oil.
*** This should read Bleached Deodorised Coconut Oil commonly known as R.B.D. (Refined, Bleached, Deodorised)