Co­coa De­mand in the Ex­port Mar­ket

Fiji Sun - - Business - MARAIA VULA Feed­back: maraia.vula@fi­jisun.com.fj

The de­mand for co­coa in the mar­ket has in­creased re­cently.

As the re­sult, cur­rent mar­ket price has in­creased from $6/kg to $10/kg. Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture David Kolita­gane while of­fi­ci­at­ing at the Co­coa Day Cel­e­bra­tions at Gat­ward Park, Korovou, Tailevu said co­coa pro­duc­tions have in­creased from 9 me­tres in 2014 to 22 me­tres in 2017. “As a re­sult, Gov­ern­ment con­tin­ued to in­crease funds al­lo­cated for Co­coa Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme from $300,000 in 2014 to $550,000 in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year and a sim­i­lar amount is proposed in the next fi­nan­cial year.

Theme

“The theme for this year’s Co­coa day cel­e­bra­tion is “Let us re­vive Fiji’s co­coa in­dus­try” which is be­fit­ting in a way, as we are here to col­lec­tively em­brace and re­vive the Co­coa In­dus­try,” Mr Kolita­gane said.

Co­coa De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme

He high­lighted that the Co­coa De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme will con­tinue to sup­port ac­tive Co­coa clus­ters and in­di­vid­u­als.

“I must thank and ac­knowl­edge all agro­pro­ces­sors, and key stake­hold­ers and of course Co­coa farm­ers and their fam­i­lies who are present here to­day.

“I trust that the 2018 Co­coa Day cel­e­bra­tion will in­spire cur­rent and po­ten­tial Co­coa grow­ers to share knowl­edge, build new net­works and strengthen tra­di­tional ties amongst Co­coa grow­ers so that the Co­coa In­dus­try be­comes a key con­trib­u­tor to our GDP. The aim is to re­vive all ex­ist­ing Co­coa fields into pro­duc­tive use and let us cel­e­brate, to en­sure the ful­fill­ment of its theme.

“The Fi­jian Co­coa In­dus­try does not ex­ist with­out your in­put and sac­ri­fice.

“All play­ers along the Co­coa Value Chain must be com­mended for their com­mit­ment and tire­less ef­fort over the years.

“The value of ex­port for Co­coa in­creased from $72,000 in 2014 to $144,000 in 2016. “As a re­sult of this high de­mand for our co­coa in the ex­port mar­ket, we are cur­rently ex­port­ing to 17 des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing vi­brant mar­kets such as Aus­tralia, Canada, France and the United States to name a few.”

Mar­ket needs

Mr Kolita­gane said apart from the fluc­tu­a­tion in mar­ket prices, pest and dis­ease con­tin­ued to be a threat.

“For ex­am­ple, the high in­ci­dence of black pod on cer­tain ar­eas such as Naitasiri and parts of Cakau­drove.

“Cer­tain ar­eas with high rain­fall were un­suit­able for co­coa re­gard­less of va­ri­ety. “The dis­ease prob­lems were gen­er­ally re­lated to low stan­dards of hus­bandry prac­tices. “Ba­sic crop main­te­nance such as prun­ing and shade reduction, to al­low for air flow through the groves and re­moval of in­fected pods are of­ten ig­nored. “Fol­low­ing sim­ple hy­giene would lead to sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments with­out re­sort­ing to the use of ex­pen­sive chem­i­cals.” De­spite the lim­i­ta­tions, he said Gov­ern­ment is adamant to re­vive the Co­coa In­dus­try.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary for Agri­cul­ture David Kolita­gane (right) in­spect­ing a co­coa dis­play set-up dur­ing the Co­coa Day Cel­e­bra­tions in Gat­ward Park, Korovou, Tailevu with se­nior of­fi­cers of the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture on May 17, 2018.

Stu­dents of Tailevu North Col­lege tour­ing the booths dur­ing the Co­coa Day Cel­e­bra­tion at Gat­ward Park, Korovou,Tailevu on May 17, 2018.

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