International COCOTECH Conference and Exhibition 2022 is the largest technical conference conducted once every two years dedicated solely to showcasing the different development activities in the coconut sector. The Conference is organized jointly by the International Coconut Community (ICC) and the Government of Malaysia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries, which provides hosting facilities. Many ICC member countries that have experienced hosting this event in earlier years are India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Thailand.
The 50th International COCOTECH Conference & Exhibition was supposed to be held physically in 2020 by the Government of Malaysia in association with ICC, but due to the uncertain situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Malaysia has approved to hold up into a physical 50th International COCOTECH Conference and Exhibition in 2022. And, the 49th International COCOTECH Conference & Exhibition was held virtually from 30 August - 2 September 2021 hosted by ICC Secretariat, Indonesia. COCOTECH Conference & Exhibition was held from 7 – 11 November 2022 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The major goal of this event is to provide a platform for sharing experience, expertise, technology and also spark creative ideas among academic scientists, engineers, researchers and industry players that will encourage future cooperation among attendees.
The 50th COCOTECH conference and Exhibition theme is “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Strategy for a Resilient and Sustainable Coconut Agroindustry”. The vulnerability of agriculture including the coconut sector to the impacts of climate change and the potential contribution of the coconut sector in mitigating the impacts has prompted the International Coconut Community (ICC) to promote the theme. Climate change is a major threat to agriculture including the coconut sector. Its impacts such as floods, longer droughts, landslides, increased pest populations and disease severity can lead to yield losses and therefore pose challenges for coconut farmers and other stakeholders, and could reduce crop yields by 1-2 % per decade over the past century. Therefore, effective adaptation and mitigation strategies are mandatory.
This Conference highlighted global issues related to climate change, policy coherence to climate change, solutions for resilient and sustainable coconut agroindustry and farmers' livelihood, agronomic and genetic adaptation to climate change, sustainable conservation and utilization of coconut genetic resources, promoting the development of green export of coconut products and role of coconut products in enhancing public health and disease prevention. The important topics above are covered by the high caliber of eminent resource persons that include experts in the fields of agriculture, industry, commerce, biotechnology, chemistry, clinical science, and much more. Diverse, appropriate, and useful information, knowledge, and technologies would be imparted from these resource persons with a great wealth of experience as well as their respective levels of expertise.
The subjects were covered in the eight Sessions during the Conference by 39 eminent resource speakers, who shared their idea, knowledge, and experience to assist in preparing farming communities to counter the challenges and maximize benefits from the opportunities that are presented. The subjects covered during the Conference assisted in preparing farming communities to counter the challenges and maximize benefits from the opportunities that are presented. Session nine is a parallel session exclusively for the papers to be presented by the researchers of universities and research institutes to share their research works.
The 8 sessions are on: Agroindustry And Farmer’s Livelihood Policy Coherence to Climate Change Solutions; 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; Role of Coconut Products in Enhancing Public Health and Diseases Prevention.
The Conference is open to the public. All ICC member countries are represented at the Conference by a Plenipotentiary Delegate. Honorable State Ministers and other senior government officials would comprise an official delegation. UN-related agencies and relevant international partners, representatives from ICC accreditation organizations, coconut farmers, and industry, also participate. The participation of various stakeholders in the coconut value chain around the world comprising of private sector industry stakeholders, policymakers, researchers, extensionists, traders, product processors, machinery manufacturers, exporters, and importers. International COCOTECH is officially mandated as the Technical Panel for the coconut community at which important knowledge, information, innovative technologies, appropriate recommendation and policy are gathered, shared, exchanged and applied throughout the global coconut industry to ensure the sustainability of the coconut sector.
An exhibition is also arranged in which the development departments, farmer organizations and industry stakeholders showcase the latest technology development of food and non-food products, services, 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. There were 34 private sector booths from seven countries and around 400 participants from 47 countries.
On the last day of the event, 10th November 2022, participants participated in the field trip to learn about the cutting-edge smart irrigation system pilot project using the internet of things (IoT) at Jorak Agriculture Center, Johor and to Linaco Manufacturing (M) Sdn., Bhd. All participants find that the Conference and Exhibition were very informative and enlightening. The 50th International COCOTECH Conference and Exhibition event in Kuala Lumpur, was one of the most extravagant COCOTECH events ever.