Partnership programme supports development of products


A NEW partnership between the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (Phama) Plus Programme and Kokonas Indastri Koporesen (KIK) will support development of industry-wide standards for selected tradable coconut products.
These industry standards will be developed and disseminated through Australia and New Zealand government-funded Phama Plus programme to processors, exporters and other interested stakeholders.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) took place late last month.
According to a statement, this would be done through a series of workshops in major coconut-growing provinces of East New Britain, Madang and Milne Bay.
The demand for high-value coconut products in domestic and global markets has increased in recent years.
This has largely been driven by products which were now regarded as beneficial to health and wellness including body oil, lotion and creams, coconut soap, virgin coconut oil, coconut cooking oil, coconut water (processed and green tender nut) and coconut fibre products.
Phama Plus PNG country manager Sidney Suma said the collaboration would boost the industry’s strategy of promoting high-value coconut products for both domestic and export markets while generating higher revenue for farmers and producers.
“A missing link is quality and compliance standards, which is an important component of the marketability of PNG high value coconut products,” Suma said.
“We’re pleased to work with KIK on making this possible for the industry as a whole.”
KIK managing director Alan Aku said an important component of the partnership was to improve the support to women business owners and participation.
“The coconut industry has the potential to contribute more to the agricultural sector,” he said.
“In the coconut sector, women are the majority business owners and play a vital role in the value chain.”