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International Coconut Community (ICC) Executive Director Visits Kenya for First National Coconut Week

International Coconut Community (ICC) recently attended the inaugural National Coconut Week held from 18th to 19th April 2024 at the Kilifi Convention Centre in Kilifi County, Kenya. Organized by the Agriculture & Food Authority, Nuts and Oil Crops Directorate, Kenya, the event aimed to promote sustainable development and investment opportunities in the coconut industry.

Dr. Jelfina was invited as a panelist for a seminar focusing on the global scenario of sustainable and resilient coconut industry. During her presentation, she introduced ICC as an intergovernmental organization of coconut-producing countries and emphasized the importance of attracting investment in the coconut industry. She highlighted the challenges and enormous potential of coconuts as the "tree of life" and a source of green energy. Dr. Jelfina stressed the need for sufficient coconut supply to drive investment and encouraged increased consumption of coconut products to meet family needs for healthy coconut products and improve economies. Additionally, she informed the audience that ICC has released quality standards of coconut products as references for member countries to meet market requirements.

Furthermore, ICC Technical Working Group member, Dr. Lalith Pereira, provided valuable technical guidance on sustaining the coconut sector through sustainable farming practices. He emphasized the importance of rehabilitating existing coconut palms, gradually replanting senile palms, and establishing seed gardens to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector.

As part of the event, a small exhibition showcased various coconut products including coconut oil, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), coconut flour, desiccated coconut, and briquettes. This exhibition provided attendees with insights into the diverse range of products that can be derived from coconuts, further highlighting the economic potential of the industry and the need to enhance product quality to compete in local and global markets.

The first National Coconut Week kicked off on 17th April, with the Minister of Agriculture encouraging farmers to replant coconuts during the favorable rainy season. The government distributed coconut seedlings to farmers, emphasizing the importance of coconut cultivation for both health benefits and improving family incomes.

Dr. Jelfina's visit to Kenya and her participation in the National Coconut Week underscored the ICC's commitment to promoting sustainable development and investment in the coconut industry, while also fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among coconut-producing nations.

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