Copra cutting endures several generations
‘Our trading centre is Savusavu and we usually travel once or twice a month there to sell copra.’
The people on Cikobia Island in the Northern Division have survived generations of trade in copra cutting.
Turaga-ni-koro of Vatulele Village Maika Turisi said while other sources of income had phased out, this trade remained. “Our reliance on this industry stems from our forefathers and we still depend on it today,” Mr Turisi said. “We have been able to send our children to school and meet our daily needs through copra sales.” He said while fishing supplemented their earnings, the copra industry remained as their main source of income. “Yes, we go out fishing and at times make good money out of it but because a good catch depends on fine weather etc, copra is maintained as our main source of income,” Mr Turisi said. “Like any other commodity, the price fluctuates and right now the buying price is really good. “Our trading centre is Savusavu and we usually travel once or twice a month there to sell copra. What we earn depends on the quality and quantity of copra we take.” He said the villagers were also engaged in the planting of coconut trees to ensure that this industry remained. “This is to also spur interest among the young ones so they would not to run around looking for a source income in the future,” Mr Turisi said.
“Like our forefathers did for us, we are continuing with the same initiative to secure their future.” There are four villages on Cikobia Island namely Vatulele, Nalele, Vuninuku and Nautovatu. Edited by Rusiate Mataika
Our reliance on this industry stems from our forefathers and we still depend on it today Maika Turisi Turaga-ni-koro of Vatulele Village