policies over the years have not been kind to the copra industry and that is

Policies over the years have not been kind to the

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policies over the years have not been kind to the copra industry and that is also a reason Challenges Faced by the Copra Industry Some of the major challenges faced by the industry that has affected the production of copra, firstly, natural disasters , the devastating impacts of hurricanes, cyclones, droughts and floods have left coconut trees unable to produce coconuts .Strong gale winds produced during cyclones can cause young coconuts to fall off and this also affects the growth of the new coconuts. The older coconut trees take 3-5 years to recover and produce while the younger ones do not produce ant fruit for 7 years and this eventually led to the drop in copra production by 35% in 1993 .(Fiji Government ,1994c). Another example is the 1987 drought that led to the 34% decrease in coconut production and the 43% fall in copra production. The table below shows the effects of natural disasters to our country’s Gross Domestic Product. Source: FIJI ECONOMY - Recent Economic Developments (Fiji Bureau of Statistics) Secondly, is the ever increasing number of old coconut tree without new trees being planted each year. This causes a major setback for the industry because without trees being planted there would be no coconut production in future. Farmers are not that eager to plant coconut trees due
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to poor price expected from copra and because of natural disasters that occurs. Naicker, P (2013) highlights on the point that coconuts take around 5-6 years to mature and produce thus farmers are more interested in farming and planting of cash crops. This is however different in the case of Vanuatu, who have a very successful copra industry compared to Fiji’s. (Source: Vanuatu National Coconut Strategy, 2016-2025 figure 2, pg. 11) Thirdly, coconut diseases and pest infestations (coconut crabs and rhinoceros beetles).This pests and diseases hinder the natural growth of coconut tress results in less coconut and copra production. The damage done by rhinoceros beetles causes coconut trees to lose their leaves, holes on coconut leaf stem, and coconuts early fall. As stated by Naicker , P(2013) the coconut / rhinoceros beetle eats the leaves of the coconut trees which disrupts the process of photosynthesis .Some controls provided are biological control methods , using virus , fungus and pheromone traps .To add on, coconut diseases , is also a major area of concern to coconut farmers , one such example is Bud Rot. Once signs of bud rot appear on the coconut trees, cut
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  • Coconut, Copra Industry

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