The government says little attention by stakeholders to the copra industry is resulting in the slow rate of reform and rehabilitation of the industry in Solomon Islands.

Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Francis Billy Hilly, made the remarks during the 46th Asia Pacific Coconut Community Ministerial Meeting in Apia, Samoa last week.

Mr Hilly said the coconut industry is vital for the Solomon Islands economy as well as the majority of the rural population of Solomon Islands.

He however says the absence of appropriate standards and regulation for value-added coconut products also contribute to the slow rate of development of the copra industry.

The Government Communications Unit says that despite the slow recovery of the industry, a National Strategic Plan formulated by stakeholders in 2009 was endorsed by Cabinet and the national secretariat tasked to develop the strategic plan.

The plan was formulated under the auspices of the Commodities Export Marketing Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and support from the Internal Trade Center.

It was based on specific areas of prioritized needs identified during a national stakeholders meeting last year.

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