India deal for Coconut Association
(Alan Ah Mu) Tuesday 13 November 2007
Some of the officials of Samoa Coconut Growers Association, Sales and
Marketing officer, Ame Sene, President Sala Vaimili II and CEO Leiataua
Tofae Alailima Nu'uali'itia.
Photo: Sarai Ripine.
The Government of India has agreed to provide the Samoa Coconut Growers
Association with oil extracting machines, President Sala Vaimili II said
yesterday. But India wants a formal letter from our Government about the
matter, Sala said. He said he has discussed this with Prime Minister
Tuilaepa Lupesoli'ai Sa'ilele Malielegaoi. "He said to leave it with him."
Sala announced a drive to attract coconut growers to take up shares in a
subsidiary of the association that has been set up. It is offering a
minimum of 10 shares per investor at $1 each to join the subsidiary -
after registering as a member of the association for $5. The maximum
shares an individual investor may buy is 10,000. Sala said between 150
and 200 investors have signed up so far.
He assured that investors' funds are safe - and are kept in a term
deposit. They have been in existence for 10 years with a proper
constitution in place. "Our association relies greatly on advice from
Oilseeds and this is what they recommended as suitable for Samoa at this
time," he said of the machines they are getting from India. "Not only
are the small and easily used, but they can be carried around."
This would be a way to cope with transportation costs which are a bit
high at this time. The extractors will be provided by India as aid. But
they are not relying on either that or our Government, CEO of the
association, Leiataua Lefae Alailima Nu'uali'itia.
Leiataua said they need $2.5 million to start their operation.
Once they have enough money they will buy the oil extactors themselves.
"This is why we're asking for the two and a half million: to have enough
money when the oil goes out to buy the coconut again," he said.
"It's a seven-week cycle."
Which means they need capital to buy more coconuts while income from oil
shipments are being awaited Leiataua said. He said they already have a
market for their oil. "They need a 1,000 tons every seven weeks, this
one place. But there are other places.
"If we produce more we can sell our oil." They plan to start producing
in February-March next year, Leiataua said. The oil extractor they
want is made in India and costs $US15 000 each he said. Sala said they
are not interested in any of the machinery at the failed copra mill at
Vaitele except for the tankers.
They would need tankers to store the oil in, he said.
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