CIDP pilot project profile
Monday, 02 July 2018 10:25
This quarter we are pleased to introduce Elcress Agra Products Ltd of Vanuatu, which is partnering with CIDP to develop a coconut oil that is stable (i.e. liquid) at low temperatures and a farmer training academy to improve smallholders’ skills in organic coconut plantation management. This will help to ensure a long-term supply of coconuts and increased incomes for smallholders.

 

Elcress is a leading agriculture company in Vanuatu. Its main activity is beef farming and it is the largest producer, processor and exporter of beef in Vanuatu, with its main customers in Japan, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

In 2012, Elcress decided to invest and re-energise the coconut and coconut oil industry in the Shepherd Islands of Vanuatu, specifically in Epi village. The company financed and built a 20-ton per day oil mill in the village, buying the raw materials from the Epi villagers and villagers on nearby islets.

Elcress also installed a state-of-the-art RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorised) oil plant in Port Vila and the products are now available in Vanuatu and some overseas markets. The company is currently working to permeate more international markets.

As part of this endeavour, Elcress sought to become organically certified and initiated a group of organic growers in Epi village. To date there are almost 1000 certified small-scale coconut farmers in Epi and neighbouring villages.

With the assistance of CIDP, Elcress is building the capacity of farmers in organic production and certification through establishing the Farmers’ Academy. This will strengthen the agricultural knowledge óf farmers and provide them with other livelihood ideas in order to augment their sources of income.  Development of nurseries will also be supported to provide coconut seedlings and other crops for planting in the locality, with the aim of diversifying income sources for farmers.

In order to increase export and market opportunities, a new product will be developed – the first organic coconut oil in Vanuatu that remains liquid at cooler temperatures. This product will be targeted at the cooking oil market, locally and internationally, and marketed as Epi Coconut Oil.