Opening of the first community-managed virgin organic coconut oil processing centre of the Ankasa-Tano Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) in Jomoro District
On 12th March 2020, the first community-managed virgin organic coconut oil processing centre of the Jomoro District was inaugurated in Ellenda.
This has been made possible through the collaboration of the Ankasa-Tano Community Resource Management Area (CREMA), the NGOs West African Primate Conservation Action (WAPCA) and Noé – Man & Nature, and the private sector Savannah Fruits Company (SFC).
By empowering women and organizing farmers to produce fair trade and organic virgin coconut oil, the project aims to curb deforestation and durably manage natural resources, by and for the most vulnerable communities.
In order to officially launch the project, an opening ceremony took place in Ellenda on Thursday 12th March 2020. Organizations that participated directly or indirectly in the project were represented: the teams of WAPCA and Noé, the CREMA chairman, the director of SFC, as well as representatives of the donors such as French Development Agency (AFD) and Sophie Tucker Foundation. Representatives of the Wildlife Division, the traditional chiefs from the communities, the women processors and people from the CREMA were also present.
After introduction and welcoming speeches, the development partners made a brief statement about the project and its objectives. Then, SFC director and CREMA chairman signed the Conservation Agreement in front of the audience and proceeded to the presentation of the Conservation Fund Cheque to the CREMA. This cheque is a result of the SFC contribution to the Conservation Fund for each coconut purchased for a period of one year.
Finally, the CREMA chairman cut the tape to officially open the processing centre and all the audience walked through the Centre to see the processing units and procedures. The centre is composed of three rooms where the coconuts are first cracked, then grated and finally the 'meat' is mashed. Following these three first steps, the mashed meat is mixed with water and left to rest outside in closed buckets for the fermentation process to start. When this process is finished, the oil is finally removed from the buckets and brought to the warehouse for the oil to settle. During this visit, all the processors were at their posts to show the process from the raw coconut to the final virgin organic oil.
Speeches of thanks and lunch was shared to everybody to close the event.
Links for the media coverage of the event: