The value of the tree of life, the humble coconut tree, to Samoa’s survival cannot be underestimated.
While many families rely on remittances for their daily upkeep, subsistent farming is also critical and this is where coconuts come in.
In Apia this week, a project called the Darwin Coconut Initiative is looking at how to preserve Samoa’s coconut trees so our people can continue to benefit from it in the future.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F) is at the forefront of the discussions being held at Hotel Tanoa Tusitala.
The Chief Executive Officer of M.A.F, Tilafono David Hunter, said the discussions are important for Samoa.
“Experts in coconuts from overseas, development partners such as S.P.C, Asia Pacific Copra Community and others are here to brainstorm on how we can find more cost effective and more ways to conserve our coconut varieties,” he said.
“Most of our coconut trees are aging and we need to replace them by replanting it.
“One main difficulty that we’re facing is trying to put out the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle.”
The beetle is one of the most serious threats to the coconut industry since it destroys coconut palms and eventually kills the tree.
Tilafono said the meeting is also looking at ways to get rid of the beetle.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi reiterated that the coconut tree is the tree of life.
He spoke about the importance of preserving coconuts for survival.