Great Friendship Taken to a New High: Updates on Coconut Plantations, JUNCAO Technology, Fisheries, and the FSM National Convention Center During Visit to Hainan & Guangdong

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Great Friendship Taken to a New High: Updates on Coconut Plantations, JUNCAO Technology, Fisheries, and the FSM National Convention Center During Visit to Hainan & Guangdong

SHENZHEN, China—From December 15th to December 17th 2019 the Honorable Esmond B. Moses, Vice Speaker of the 21st Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) visited the Provinces of Hainan and Guangdong, both in the southernmost parts of the People’s Republic of China (China). The Vice Speaker was appointed as the Head of Delegation by His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the FSM—who departed China early due to a family emergency. This release will primarily focus on the meeting outcomes of most direct and immediate relevance to the Nation’s citizens.

In Hainan on December 15th, the delegation visited the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) to receive updates on the Standardized Coconut Plantation in Pohnpei, met with FSM students at Hainan University to learn about their studies, and met with Her Excellency He Xiqing, Vice Chairwoman of the Standing Committee of Hainan People’s Congress, in an effort to strengthen FSM-China relations by way of strengthening FSM-Hainan relations. As a tropical island approximately similar to Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae (albeit much larger), Hainan offers extensive opportunities of recognizable value to the FSM and the Nation’s citizens.

The coconut plantation in the FSM State of Pohnpei originally had its ribbon cutting on November 4th, 2018, and is presently 1.33 hectares with 150 yellow dwarf coconuts, 150 red dwarf coconuts, and 150 green dwarf coconuts planted. Work completed since 2018 includes the planting of pineapple, coffee, and mango, as well as the digging of three drainage ditches, installation of water pipes, and fencing of 200 meters, in addition to several training courses with students at Madolenihmw High School. Before March 2020, the offices and training classrooms will be completed, with the next steps including the training of four agronomists, four technicians, four craftsmen, 30 extension workers, and 200 farmers, to “establish the coconut industry chain in the FSM and improve the status of idle land, low employment rate, and low income of the people.” CATAS’ Dr. Wang Fuyou also explained that he recommends the FSM National Government maintain communication with the Chinese Embassy to apply for budgetary support from the Chinese Government, to include potentially increasing the plantation to 3.3 hectares.

In Guangzhou on December 16th, the FSM delegation met with a delegation from Fujian Agricultural & Forestry University (FAFU) to learn about JUNCAO technology (which can potentially eliminate the FSM’s need to purchase grower for pigs), Guangdong International Engineering Consultant Company, Ltd. (GDIECC) to receive updates on the FSM National Convention Center (with additional information received on December 17th in a meeting with China Construction Steel Structure Corporation Ltd.), followed by a meeting with His Excellency Wang Yanshi, Vice Chairman of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress, in an effort to strengthen FSM-China relations by way of strengthening FSM-Guangdong relations.

Dr. Lin Zhanxi, inventor of JUNCAO technology, explained that “JUNCAO is a new field in both aspects of scientific research and industrial development…it’s a new biological material, and a new type of agricultural resource. It is a tall plant with a high yield, that can grow in all kinds of lands…with 850 tree tons of harvest per hectare.” Juncao plants were advised to be in use in the Republic of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and in several countries in the African continent.

It was explained that planting and harvesting Juncao plants “results in twelve times the efficiency of Fiji’s traditional forage productivity”, and that Fiji’s use of JUNCAO technology has “effectively solved the problem of [pig] feed shortage during the dry season.”

The Honorable Carson K. Sigrah, Governor of the FSM State of Kosrae, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FAFU to see how Kosrae—and potentially the entire Nation—can benefit from JUNCAO technology. “I have the proposed project with me, and I am looking forward to submitting it to the [Office of the President] and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the National Government’s endorsement,” the Governor said.

Later, in the meeting with GDIECC, it was described that the forthcoming FSM National Convention Center, located immediately across from the Office of the President in Palikir, will have its foundation constructed from approximately right now (December 2019) to February 2020. The main structure will be constructed from February to March, the roof and walls from March to June, the machinery, electricity, and decorations from June to September, and the landscaping from September to November, with the ribbon-cutting to occur in December 2020.

In Shenzhen on December 17th, the delegation met with the LianCheng Overseas Fisheries Shenzhen Group (LianCheng) to receive briefings on LianCheng’s fisheries exercises in the FSM, followed by meetings with China Construction Steel Structure Corporation Ltd. and His Excellency He Haito, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Congress.

Citizens unfamiliar with LianCheng may appreciate knowing that the company has operated in the FSM since 1994, when it started a fishing base in Pohnpei State. At present, LianCheng has bases in Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Yap, with plans to expand in Chuuk. These bases presently serve 45 vessels focused on fresh tuna and 27 on frozen tuna, which LianCheng’s staff—using patented technology that arguably is the reason LianCheng is the only tuna operator in China with MSC certification—can monitor, including every ship’s movement and catchment, with details like  how many fish are caught and what kinds of species they are.

LianCheng will be exporting more than 25,000 tons of FSM-sourced frozen fish in 2019, and after rebuilding its shipyard will double its boating capacity to seek an export of approximately 50,000 tons of frozen fish in 2020. LianCheng is able to legally harvest in the FSM through its purchase of Vessel Days from the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) under the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), a component of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). Of all the Vessel Days in a given year that the FSM is able to sell, LianCheng advised that they purchased approximately 20,000 of them in 2019.

The FSM’s relationship with LianCheng is a partnership based on mutual respect with the goal of mutual benefits. LianCheng directly supports hundreds of jobs within the FSM, including 142 in Kosrae and 68 in Pohnpei, with an additional 100 jobs to be supported in Pohnpei after the reconstruction of various facilities. The 2019 forecast includes $472,545 in pilotage/port/vessel clearances alone in payments to the FSM.

On December 18th, 2019, the FSM delegation departed China to return back to the FSM. President Panuelo is the eighth President of the FSM to have had a formal State Visit to China, with the tradition starting after diplomatic relations between the FSM and China became formalized on September 11th, 1989.

FSM GOVERNMENT

P.O. BOX PS53
Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2228
Fax: (691) 320-2785

 

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