International COCOTECH Conference and Exhibition is the largest technical conference conducted once in every two years and dedicated solely to showcasing the different development activities in the coconut sector. This conference is organized by the International Coconut Community (ICC) together with the ICC member country that offers hosting facilities. The 50th International Cocotech Conference and Exhibition is organized by ICC in association with the Government of Malaysia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries from 7-11 November at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia with the theme “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy for a Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Agroindustry”.
It was officially inaugurated by YB. DATUK SERI HAJI AHMAD BIN HAMZAH, Deputy Minister I, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Government of Malaysia. In his inaugural remarks, the honorable minister expressed his happiness to be part of this big event and Malaysian Government is developing a suitable policy for the sustainable development of the coconut sector. He added that it is good to see the representatives from different countries gathered here with one objective and working together for the economic growth and development of the sector. He appreciated the activities of ICC and informed that these four days of conference conclude with suitable recommendations for the implementation by the countries.
Welcome addressed was delivered by DATO’ HASLINA BINTI ABDUL HAMID, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries Government of Malaysia. She mentioned that it gives an immense pleasure for her, to extend a very warm welcome to all to the 50th International Cocotech Conference and Exhibition 2022, the world’s largest technical forum on coconut development. It is delighted to have the presence of a diverse group of institutions and companies from many countries, united by the same aspiration, towards exchanging knowledge and discovery of the latest technology in the coconut industry. She continued that Malaysia envisions under the policy to develop a sustainable, resilient, and technology-based agro-food sector in driving economic growth, improving people’s well-being, as well as prioritizing food security and nutrition. It is set with a thrust to embrace modernization, strengthening the value chain for domestic and international markets, developing talent and skilled workforce, advancing towards sustainable agricultural practices, and creating a conducive business ecosystem. The exhibition arranged on this occasion will give a platform for networking opportunities where all can meet and mingle with potential customers and business partners. She requested all to enjoy their stay in Kuala Lumpur and wish all to have a productive conference.
DR. VILIAMI TOALEI MANU, Chairman of the International Coconut Community, in his conference address expressed his happiness to meet all physically after the pandemic and requested all to take as much advantage of this conference and exhibition and take back home the knowledge and technologies from the speakers of this conference and also share skill and experience with all.
DR. JELFINA C. ALOUW, Executive Director, ICC delivered the conference introduction. She mentioned that 39 eminent speakers are going to share their knowledge and experience at this biggest technical conference. The expected output from this conference are causes of vulnerability and points of resilience identified; Adaptation & mitigation management interventions identified and promoted; Comprehensive standards & policy tools that may accelerate resilience to climate change determined; Decarbonization of key sectors including shifting to renewable energy sources & Degradable products promoted. She added that in the present scenario of Global challenges we have to break down the barriers and work together for a sustainable & resilient coconut industry. Dr. Jelfina acknowledges the contributions of all the former Executive Directors of ICC on this occasion of the 50th International Cocotech conference and appreciated the support of all the member countries.
The 50th International COCOTECH Conference was well attended by over 900 participants including the daily visitors to the exhibition from 52 countries who joined physically. This was one of the biggest events organized by ICC after two years of the pandemic.
The conference was for 5-days in which four-day classroom session was arranged and on the fifth day delegate tour was organized to two locations Linaco Manufacturing Unit Batu Pahat, Johor, and Jorak Agriculture Centre-Smart Irrigation System with IoT Pagoh, Johor .
The conference covered eight technical sessions by 39 eminent resource speakers, where they shared their ideas, knowledge, and experiences with the latest technologies and development. The subjects covered during the Conference assisted in preparing farming communities to counter the challenges and maximize benefits from the opportunities that are presented. One session was exclusively arranged as a parallel session wherein call for papers were invited from the researchers of universities and research institutes who are involved in the research on the coconut sector. Ten such presenters presented their work at the conference.
The Sessions were on: Policy Coherence to Climate Change Solutions for a Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Agroindustry and Farmer’s Livelihood; Promoting the Development of Green Exports of Coconut Products; Agronomic Adaptations Strategies to Climate Change; The New Integrated Pest Management Paradigm for Emerging Threats of Pests and Diseases of Coconut; Genetic Adaptations Strategies to Climate Change; Development of Innovative Products to Address Climate Change, Non-Renewable Energy, and Non-Degradable Products; Sustainable Conservation and Utilization of Coconut Genetic Resources and Their Impact to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation for the Economic Development of the Countries and Role of Coconut Products in Enhancing Public Health and Diseases Prevention. Each Session was followed by an Open Forum and Discussion coordinated by Session Chairs. The queries raised by the participants were well attended by the resource speakers.
A physical exhibition was also arranged in which the development departments, farmer organizations and industry stakeholders showcased the latest technology development of food and non-food products, services, and machinery, and build brand proximity. A daily business matching to connect (match) companies and people with common business interests, create valuable business relationships and strengthen business networks was also provided. 40 exhibitors from 7 countries participated in the exhibition, which includes India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea.
The recommendations emanating from COCOTECH were endorsed by the plenipotentiary delegates; session chairs and resource speakers from the countries for implementation by the member countries, Amongst the emergence of new knowledge and the development of innovative technologies shared at the Conference are the introduction of mobile apps technology under Internet of Things (IoT) for smart irrigation systems for coconut plantations sustainable development; innovative micropropagation method as an alternative to the clonal propagation method that relies on somatic embryogenesis; low-cost value-added products from coconut.
Many International partner organisations, research institutes and commodity boards of the member countries participated in the Conference, they were United Nations Economic and Social Commision Asia and The Pacific (UN-ESCAP), Non-Aligned Movement-Center for South-South Technical Cooperation (NAM-CSSTC), Coalition of Coconut Producing Districs (KOPEK), The Pacific Community (SPC), Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique Pour le Dévelopment (CIRAD), Coconut Development Board (CDB) of India, Indonesian Palm Crops Research Institute (IPCRI), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA),Coconut Development Authority (CDA) of Sri Lanka, Coconut Research Institute (CRI) of Sri Lanka, Coconut Cultivation Board (CCB) of Sri Lanka, Coconut Industry Board(CIB) of Jamaica,Centre de Investigaci’on Cienti’fica de yucat’an (CICY) of Mexico, Conservation and Development of Coconut Oil Forum of Thailand (CDCOT), International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA-FAO),International Trade Center (ITC), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), ICAR-Central Plantation Crop Research Institute, BRIN, and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The four days Conference concluded with the adoption of the policy recommendations crafted from the presentations and discussions for the implementations by the member countries. In the closing session Hon. Maiava Fuimaono Tito Asafo, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Government of Samoa mentioned that this conference was very much beneficial and that the expertise and knowledge shared by the speakers and the interactive session were very useful. He appreciated ICC and Government of Malaysia for arranging this big event and thanked the host country of Malaysia for their excellent hospitality. Awards were distributed to the winners of the World Coconut Day 2022 competitions organized by ICC. The conference adjourned with the closing remarks of Dr. Jelfina C.Alouw, Executive Director.