26 Oct 2012

Coconut replanting in Marshalls to provide economic opportunities

11:18 am on 26 October 2012

An outrigger canoe-building expert says the plan for Marshall Islands to replant coconut tress will provide a significant economic opportunity.

Supported with US$1.2 million from Japan's Fund For Poverty Reduction and the Asian Development Bank, coconut replanting and removal of senile trees will commence on five remote atolls in the Marshall Islands in the coming months.

Alson Kelen, who directs the Canoes of the Marshall Islands organization in Majuro, wants to ensure local residents cash in on the spinoff opportunity afforded by the cutting of old coconut trees.

He says coconut tree wood is considered exotic and valuable.

Mr Kelen's organization, which trains young Marshallese men and women in carpentry and lifeskills will be working with the Ministry of Resources and Development on the value-added side of the project.