Value adding in coconut urged
Coconut farmers are now being urged to think like entrepreneurs and should start considering adding values to their production.
Hengky Novarianto, senior scientist at the Indonesia Palm Crops Research Institute, said that coconut farmers are still the poorest workers in the Philippines to date, earning at least P50 a day.
“If we can help them just add value to their produce, coconut farmers will not have to be poor,” Novarianto said.
“But if they will increase their other products like coco sugar, they can increase their income by 10 times.” he added.
Aside from coco sugar, other product innovations in coconut include coconut drinks, coconut soap, virgin coconut oil, coconut coffee and creamer, among other things.
In the first half of the year, among the country’s agro-based products, coconut products posted one of the highest increases in exports with US$920.7 million from January to June 2017, a 78.2 percent surge from US$516.8 million during the same frame in 2016.