Premium copra selling at VT75,000 per tonne
Pacific Pride, the only buyer of premium copra in Vanuatu has lifted the buying price of premium copra to VT75,000 per tonne.
The Manager of Pacific Pride Limited, Nikhil Ms, says the company is now buying premium copra or white copra at VT75,000 per tonne and black copra at VT48,000 per tonne.
“We are also planning to buy shell from farmers at around VT10–15,000 per tonne and plan in the future to also purchase the husk,” he said.
“So [in the future], all together, a farmer will get more than VT100,000 per tonne for premium copra,” he said.
Mr Ms says the premium copra is used for edible oil and the shells will be used for charcoal known as black gold, which he says is in high demand globally.
To produce premium copra, farmers have to: de-husk the coconuts; cut them into two pieces; put them over a hot-air dryer in a downward position; and after two or three days, heat them and scrape out the copra from the shell.
Farmers can use any coconuts other than sprouted coconuts.
The Pacific Pride company says it is now buying white copra in Santo and Malekula but once it has agents set up, it plans to start buying white copra from other islands as well.
Mr Ms says it is not hard to produce premium copra but more awareness is needed so farmers understand the process.
He says the premium copra is a more profitable product for farmers and his company has been running information sessions so Ni-Vanuatu farmers understand how to produce it.
Mr Ms says premium copra attracts good prices because it is the highest grade copra in the world.
Mr Ms says Ni- Vanuatu farmers are currently not producing much premium copra but the company has submitted a proposal to the Government to train farmers on how to produce it.
“Once farmers understand how to produce premium copra, they can start producing more of it,” he said.
Pacific Pride is an Indian company based in Santo, it is buying both premium and black copra.