THIS is in response to G. Driver's letter (FT 8/8) in which he made
references to an article (FT 6/8) on the copra industry and Graham
Haynes comments on the same.
I didn't see the referenced article as I was away attending steering
committee meetings (7-9.8.07) on Coconut Planters and Processors
Associations in Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata Provinces.
Obviously, GD is totally unaware [..] of what CIDA has been doing up
till now for the coconut industry.
Let me, however, correct the misleading impression GD may have conveyed
to readers by suggesting that the high price of copra now has been the
result of his proposal to the Interim Finance Minister during the review
of 2007 National Budget.
This cannot be further from the truth.
The high price of copra now has been the result of rising world market
price of coconut oil since late last year, due mainly to shortage of
whole nut supply occasioned by the series of typhoons that hit the
Philippines last year, combined with the effect of the increasing demand
by local biodiesel industries for coconut oil (CNO) in both the
Philippines and Indonesia, the coconut giants of Asia.
The Philippines supplies some 60 per cent of the world CNO market. In
fact, the Philippines is so short in CNO itself now, it is importing
CIDA determines monthly copra price based on world CNO price using the
copra pricing formula set by law. This set price is a minimum mill gate
price (mmgp), eg. the mmgp for the month of August is $587.72 pmt.
However, Copra millers operates through copra buying agents who are paid
commission depending on the area they service. For Vanua Levu agents
outside Savusavu, they get $30 pmt over and above the mmgp.
The price of copra by traders/millers agents is not regulated and it is
the price set between them and their customers.
The Fiji Development Bank has now included the coconut industry on its
agricultural development loan list.
This means FDB is willing to finance coconut industry based projects
that are viable and sustainable.
CIDA is closely working with FDB on these.
John. T. Teaiwa
Check for earlier Pacific Biofuel posts: http://pacbiofuel.blogspot.com/