The DME System
95% of the World’s coconut palms are in the hands of smallholder farmers and in family gardens. It is relatively difficult for such farmers to enter “cash crop” markets by themselves. Ideally, each DME unit should be a module within a DME System, rather than an isolated unit as shown in the 'sustainable development scenario'
The System then provides the economies of scale: training, extension, credit, quality control and marketing services. Such an institutional structure is essential for the DME technology to realise its full potential.
The complete DME System consists of three levels:
All levels operate on “triple bottom line” principles:
- Pleasing to participants
- Place friendly — environmentally sustainable
Each level has its Functions, Responsibilities and Contractual Obligations.
The System would aim for a zero waste strategy to gain value added from all coconut components. The economics of a whole System will vary depending on the density of coconut plantings, yields, farm size, ease of road and/or marine access, size of local markets for oil and meal, and distance from export markets. In many circumstances, a DME Service Centre will be commercially viable with a clientele of about 10 DME unit operators.