Revitalization of FSM’s coconut export industry making ‘great progress’
Tonoas, Chuuk— The development of the Integrated Coconut Processing Facility on Tonoas is making great progress. The project is in line with FSM Petroleum Corp.’s Coconut for Life (C4L) initiative, whose goal to revitalize the Federated States of Micronesia’s coconut export industry.
“I understand from the surveys PetroCorps has done throughout all of our islands that the nation has the potential to produce about one million gallons of coconut oil for export annually,” FSM President David Panuelo said during his visit to the facility on July 13.
Panuelo’s visit was witness to clear evidence of substantial work in the past few months, including the setup of containers, generators, trucks, and whiteboards in offices filled with status updates. Of these recent updates include the application of a remediator to the sludge retention pit and the active implementation of the site’s environmental and safety plans.
The president advised that, while overall progress for the facility has been slower than originally anticipated, that the pace at which it has picked up in recent months is a positive development.
Coconut for Life (C4L) seeks to enhance the capacity for the buying, selling, exporting, manufacturing, processing, and distribution of copra and other products from coconut trees in the FSM. New community-based revenue streams are created for the people as opportunities become available for farmers to market coconuts.
Panuelo noted that Tonoas is the site for the copra industry. “This is a place with a lot of agriculture, where people grow [coconut and more] for their own livelihood, [offering farmers the opportunity to sell their coconuts when it’s convenient for them] is exactly what we need to develop this region.” (Pacific Island Times News Staff)