Papua New Guinea
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More emphasis on downstream processing

Their significance extends beyond their nutritional value and medicinal properties, encompassing a wide range of practical applications and cultural traditions. As the demand for sustainable and healthy food sources continues to grow, the importance of coconuts is likely to increase in the future.

To signify World Coconut Day, Kokonas Indastri Koperesen (KIK), hosted a two-day event at the Laiwaden Oval on the 01st and 02nd September, giving the opportunity to the general public to learn more about how coconuts can boost factors in the economy.

The event was not only to celebrate coconut but was also an awareness campaign for KIK in addressing the public about the many uses of coconuts and how downstream processing can be able to boost not only the economy but also the livelihoods of simple subsistence farmers.

According to Dr. Eremas Tade, the General Manager Research and Development Division at KIK, this day is always commemorated at the Stewart Research Station up at Murunas along the North Coast Road of Madang, however, they wanted an awareness done on many agendas the institution has and also to give prominence to the SME’s that they have, and so the two-day show being staged.

Dr. Tade also emphasized the Marape-Rosso Government’s policy on looking into downstream processing. He stated that in the not-so-distant future, exporting of raw commodities such as cocoa and copra will cease as downstream processing becomes active.

Dr. Tade further added that in 2016 KIK launched its 10-year Strategic Plan 2016-2025, with a lot of restructures done to the organization. There are three divisions that KIK houses which include the Corporate Division, Industry Services Division and the Research and Development Division which he heads up at Murunas.

He stated that under the 10-year plan, so much has been done by extension officers within 11 provinces in the country, and 4 Senior Coconut Development Officers for the 4 regions, placed to strategically revive the industry.

These key people will move within their provinces, working together with the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Livestock to enhance the industry’s work.

Dr. Tade enlightened the general public on the different products that coconut is able to be processed into and exported. Currently, PNG only exports three major products, which are copra, coconut oil and copra mill.

He told the crowd that other countries are exporting processed raw materials which PNG can also do once down streaming is implemented.

It was a very informative campaign launched by KIK as many people and students went around stall displays asking questions on how certain products displayed were made.