Firm aims to partner with coconut farmers to produce oil


Coconut farmers in East New Britain (ENB) now have another entity to invest in the coconut commodity ensuring an improved market for their copra and coconut oil.
Oceania Coconut Products PNG Ltd, a subsidiary of Oceania Coconut Products Australia Ltd, entered the market with the aim to invest in the coconut commodity space which would see significant developments in downstream processing involving buying, processing and selling of value-added coconut products both domestically and abroad.
According to Oceania Coconut Products director Geoff Humphris, who is in the province to set up the company, they were constructing and installing a purpose built processing and bottling plant at Takubar in Kokopo.
He said work started last month and they expected the company to complete both plants by next month and would go into full production in February.
Humphris said the company was equipped with machinery that could process and bottle a high volume virgin coconut oil.
He said the company was committed to developing the virgin coconut oil industry through partnerships with the rural communities in particular smallholder farmers.
Humphris said the company chose to invest in the virgin coconut oil domain after reviewing PNG’s history in copra production and it would benefit smallholder farmers.
He said the plant was one of a few in the Western Pacific and the Oceania region.
The company’s country manager Anthony Woyengu said they would eventually include farmers from other provinces in the country.
Woyengu said virgin coconut oil agriculture was a lucrative and less intensive activity for farmers as they would only be required to harvest their crop, husk the nuts and sell them to the company to process and bottle.
He said the plant could produce 100 litres of organic oil hourly from 1,500 coconuts.