Coconut Revival: New Possibilities For The Tree Of Life

Coconut Revival: New Possibilities For The Tree Of Life

This is an extract from the publication named Coconut Revival: new possibilities for the tree of life. This is a publication of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research which has been edited by S.W. Adkins, M. Foale and Y.M.S. Samosir

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is one the most important crops grown in the humid tropics. More than 11 million farmers, mostly small holders with low income, grow the palm in 90 countries. More than 80% of the total world production comes from the Asia-Pacific countries, which are near neighbours of Australia. Coconut also grows well in moist tropical regions of Australia, particularly northern Queensland. Plantations have been established in the past but the palm is now mostly used for ornamental purposes.Coconut is still used as the symbol of the Australian tropics to attract tourists from around the world to come on holiday in these regions.

Through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Australia actively supports and is involved in coconut research and development (R&D), in collaboration with its neighbouring coconut producing countries. Some business-related work has also occurred on coconut tree maintenance, processing and trading. Such a broad range of interests puts Australia in a unique position to make an important contribution to the future of coconut in the Asia-Pacific region.

The idea of holding an International Coconut Forum in Australia evolved from extensive discussions with a number of coconut specialists, businesses and agencies.

This forum, which was co-sponsored by ACIAR, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the University of Queensland (UQ), African Pacific Pty Ltd, Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Coconet Pty Ltd and Kokonut Pacific Pty Ltd, was the first of its kind to be held in Australia. Appreciation is expressed to Mr Luke Bice (Sunrise Coconuts) and Mr Paul Richardson (Cocotap) for their help in organising the event; and to Councillor Kevin Byrne, Mayor of the City of Cairns, for his address and the opening of the forum.

These proceedings not only document the majority of the papers and posters presented at the forum, but also present several papers by authors who, for various reasons, could not attend the meeting. The topics covered in the forum were diverse, reflecting the vast range of interests and expertise of the participants, and included R&D, business and government, and regional and international agency interests.

Peter Core


Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research