Ahling Onorio

Position: Trainer and mentor, Kiribati Organic Producers (KOP)

Overview

Promote awareness on the health benefits of products from coconuts, assist in increasing capacity of smallholder farmers through teaching new technologies and good management practices to increase income capacity from making of virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar.

Work with Donor organisations and Government of Kiribati (ministry of commerce and agriculture) to increase production and quality organic safe food product that could eventually be sold in overseas markets.

Education

  • Diploma in Business Studies - Central Queensland University
  • Batchelor's Degree - majored in Geography and Economics - University of South Pacific
  • Diploma in Education - University of South Pacific

Experience

Secondary school teacher (20 years);

Director of OTTA services Ltd, family business (10 years);

Member of Kiribati Organic Farmers Association as vice Chairwoman and Secretary with role of enhancing capacity of farm members in value adding coconut products and marketing of these coconut products, virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar.

Role entails:

Training, improving product capacity and marketing of virgin coconut oil and coconut sugar from the outer islands of Kiribati: Arorae, Tamana, Nikunau, Abemama, Butaritari, Abaiang and South Tarawa, Tabiteuea North Islands.  In area of VCO training - fermentation method was taught, equipment that could be made available were brought and left with them, VCO made were bought, further processed (sieved and bottled) and marketed in South Tarawa. Coconut sugar - crystallisation of coconut sap was taught, stainless woks were distributed to many of groups and crystallised sugar further processed and packed in South Tarawa for sale. About 200 young males are mainly involved in collection of coconut sap in the making of coconut sugar, the crystallisation is done mainly by women. In making of VCO, both men and women are involved and knowledge of fermentation production method had been taught to as many interested participants in the islands named.  Pamphlets were provided showing health benefits of VCO and coconut sugar and they were encouraged to make and use products at home and sell surplus for extra income. Both VCO and coconut sugar purchased from suppliers from the outer islands are now sold in South Tarawa.