Value chain working group hold first meeting
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:34

Value chain working group hold first meeting

The Coconut Industry Development for the Pacific Value Chain Working Group met in Nadi on 11–12 December 2017.  The working group serves as a sounding board for the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON), which is the consultant for this activity, and provides input into the value chain road maps being developed by CIDP to ensure a grounding in industry and public sector experience.

Agricultural development in the Pacific has often been characterised as having short-term successes but with frequent unsustainability of horticultural and other high-value product developments.  As an output of the CIDP project, value chain road maps are being developed for four important coconut value chains, with the aim of providing useful tools and information for those engaged in these value chains, and increasing the chance of sustainable business success.  An agricultural value chain is a way of describing the different ‘links’ required to take a product from the farm to the end consumer.

There are many reasons for the lack of sustainability in some product developments, including location, transport linkages and high costs, poor economies of scale, natural disasters, plant diseases and market access barriers.  Despite constraints, however, significant opportunities exist to reduce failures and expand successes by identifying ways to improve the value chains for Pacific Island products.  Improvements are measured in terms of the sustainable increase in the income earned by those participating in the value chain.

The 20-member working group consists of government and private sector members identified by the Project Steering Committee and the CIDP Value Chain Stakeholders Workshop held in July 2017. Ministries of agriculture, trade and aid coordination were represented, as well as farmers, small- to large-scale coconut processors, and exporters, who provided a wealth of knowledge and experience to the process.

The specific value chains being analysed are virgin coconut oil for local markets, high grade copra oil for niche export markets, timber veneer products, and ‘cream’ products. This meeting is the first of a series of activities. The final road maps are expected to be complete by mid 2018.