Dear Editor – I am writing to thank Frank Short for his letter to the Star dated Monday 11th May and to provide some more information to your readers.
Frank is correct in his assessment of the international market for Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and in his view that we have an abundance of coconuts. His suggestion that foreign investment is the answer to expanding the industry is not wrong but might be misplaced.
Kokonut Pacific SI Ltd is a small company but the model that is employed does give good returns to farmers and VCO producers who live in the Provinces.
Currently there are more than 50 village units producing close to 200 tonnes per year of VCO.
This model has the potential to expand to hundreds of units across the country producing much more VCO and other by-products. The greatest benefit is that it gives good money to rural households for their valuable resources – empowering communities.
Many families would like to invest in a village production unit (we call DME) but sadly there is nowhere that village folk can borrow money to get set up. This is the blockage to expansion. Anyone interested in seeing how a village unit works to produce high quality VCO is welcome to visit our operation at Lunga.
Kokonut Pacific SI Ltd