Coconut – The Timber of the Future?
I have to be honest, I haven’t found a website that has made me this exicited in a l-o-n-g time. The implications of the commercial validity of coconut as marketable timber in the global economy has had my hand failing to keep up with the possibilities and opportunities bubbling around in my head: I’ve made a couple phone calls, flicked off a couple emails, written a rough proposal and a brief business plan.
And the cause for this little tantrum is what is referred to simply as cocowood.
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research has been conducting a project since 2007 in Fiji and Samoa called Improving Value and Marketability of Coconut Wood. The project has a budget of AU$520,552 and is anticipated to end in April 2010. The project addresses key issues relating to the acceptance of coconut wood into the high value flooring market. It is specificly focused on developing processing systems and profiles for high quality flooring, and defining appropriate grading standards, product specifications and quality control systems.
As the 5th largest coconut producer in the world and by far the largest in the Pacific, PNG is at the doorstep of a lucrative opportunity to become a market leader in cocowood production. What makes it even more realistic is the fact that PNG has a large number of aging colonial coconut plantations which produce less and less quality coconuts each year for copra and coconut production.
What better way to deal with these senile plantations than to generate new timber industries and create new PNG export and consumer markets, while providing a new source of income for PNG folks from an abundant and locally available resource?
With strong demand for flooring products in Asia, America and Europe, there is a definite market available for cocowood products.
To see more photos of cocowood furniture click here.