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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (April 13, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---The collapse of the world coconut oil market -- which has caused copra prices to plunge in the RMI -- is spurring the government to move quickly in an effort to develop other coconut products to generate exports and locally saleable products.

The world market price for coconut oil has dropped more than 60 percent in the past 15 months and there is little optimism of any improvement in world prices in the foreseeable future, said Resource and Development Minister John Silk.

Key coconut developments that the government is setting into motion, according to Silk, include:

All of these, except for the coconut oil fuel project, are being funded by the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail:  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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