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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' flow chart (PDF: 569 KB).

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 realize its full potential.

The complete DME System consists of three levels:

All levels operate on “triple bottom line” principles:

  • Pleasing to participants
  • Profitable
  • 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.

The System base — the DME Unit operator



Contractual Obligations

Produces oil and meal in a regular and consistent manner with zero waste

Maintains a happy work environment

Maintains a clean production site

Oil quality conforms to Test Manual

Maintains production records

Licensee to local DME Centre

Is a legal entity holding a Bank a/c

Sells contractual oil supply to Centre

Provides Centre with production records

DME Service Centre



Contractual Obligations

Supervises producers

Collects oil

Pays producers net of loan repayments

Produces oil from own DME Unit

Markets oil

Conducts in-service training

Maintains records of Units

Seeks & vets Unit applicants

Conducts SITE analyses

Visits & encourages Units

Hosts regular producer meetings

Supervises building of Unit sheds & driers

Operates small test lab

May processes products for local market

Licensee to HQ for defined region

Is a legal entity holding a Bank a/c

Provides Units with technical support

Maintains accounts

Gives monthly reports to HQ

Profit sharing with Units

DME HQ Support



Contractual Obligations

Marketing products locally and internationally

Central storage for goods & equipment

Purchasing agent

Run Training Courses for Centres & Units

Seeks & vets Centre applicant

Seeks national & international seed funding for Centres & Units

Negotiates Dev. Bank loans

Visits & encourages Centres

Hosts regular Centre staff meetings

Operates QA laboratory

Develops new products & processes for Centres & Units

Licensee for defined region

Provides Centres & Units with full legal, admin. & technical backup & support

Accountable governance

Audited accounts

Profit sharing with Centres

Contact us for more information

DME Equipment and costs

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