CAPTION: PM Bainimarama and APCC Executive Director Romulo Arancon Jnr inspect coconut products at the trade booth.
The 49th Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) Ministerial meeting got under way at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi this morning.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was the chief guest at the meeting which is being hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture.
APCC Executive Director Romulo Arancon Jnr in his opening remarks said, “The APCC member countries account for about 85-90 percent of total world coconut production and exports involving millions of small holder, farm and factory workers and their families who are directly or indirectly dependent on coconut for their livelihood.”
“As the first commodity based organization the APCC as an inter-governmental organization has brought about the strong foundation for cooperation, coordination, exchange and sharing of technologies and experiences, specifically in our respective policies, strategies and development programs for the coconut industry including resources from the member states for the benefit of farmers and various stakeholders.”
He said, the member countries will present their annual country statements and review their coconut industry roadmap for the calendar year 2012 in their respective countries.
“They will highlight the new policy measures as well as short and long term coconut development programs. As in the previous years we will give special attention to the progress reports on the country accomplishments related to the PNG Declaration in 2006, in terms of investments in the coconut planting and replanting program, and concrete indicators such as the budget and other investments allocated by our respective members states for coconut replanting and rehabilitation programs.”
“We believe that documenting and monitoring the achievements of our members states related to the PNG Declaration is very important in view of the need to address the problem of low coconut productivity and low farmers income in member states. We recognize that is a need for strong political will and commitment by government policy makers such as our guests today and participants in the meeting to accelerate the coconut replanting, planting and rehabilitation programs.”
Under the PNG declaration, governments of the APP member countries agreed to support their coconut industries, in addressing the issue of senility through their own national coconut rehabilitation programs
The 4 day meeting will be held at the Tanoa International Hotel and will included field visits to small holder coconut plantations and programs as well as the launch of the 1 million coconut replanting and planting program in Sigatoka.

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