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Coconut oil production

Coconut oil production

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Having already worked on improving the standard of their final product, the producers of coconut oil from Sandy Bay say that they are now looking for markets overseas.{{more}}

Kurt Dougan, Administrative Officer in the Rural Transformation Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, explained that this is the next step in a process which started in 2005.

Dougan was speaking at an exhibition last Friday, during which samples of the coconut products were on display.

“The name says it all, it is basically developing coconut oil production in the Sandy Bay area, or helping coconut oil producers to produce more effectively,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

The UNESCO funded project started, according to Dougan, after members of the Sandy Bay group met with Community Partnership Groups in 2005. Following on this consultation, it was decided that there was potential in coconut oil and coconut oil products to be a viable economic earner for the community.

“And from there we got the ball rolling.”

The main aim of the project is to develop the coconut oil producers in the area, Dougan said.

The Bureau of Standards got involved and the members of the group took part in the training and have been producing quality oil ever since, and hopefully, they will be doing so for the regional market.

Currel Thompson, Senior Technical Officer in the Rural Transformation Unit explained that the objective was to also get members of the group to begin taking a more businesslike approach to the manufacture of coconut oil.

She said that the sustainability of the group is not really a challenge however, because the group has been producing coconut oil for some time. The project only sought to formalize the process and to train the 20 persons in the group to begin thinking of what they do as a business and a source of income generation,Thompson said. (DD)

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