20 Jul 2016

Vanuatu launches coconut palm strategy

7:13 am on 20 July 2016

About a million coconut trees will be planted in Vanuatu in the next decade, as the country tries to get the most out of the important crop.

The Agriculture Minister, Matai Seremiah, this week launched the National Coconut Strategy, which looks to replanting after Cyclone Pam.

Mr Seremiah said the strategy would help ensure the greatest varieties are planted to ensure food security, resilience, and improve their economic viability.

"Instead of just looking a copra, we're looking at virgin oil, looking at how to use the coconut tree to get timber out of the coconut trees, and all that."

"Most of the coconut trees were planted before independence and now they are not producing as much as a couple of years ago and if we don't start replanting now, production will continue to decrease."

Matai Seremiah said while the strategy was mainly focussed on replanting after Cyclone Pam, the country has needed a strategy for a long time.