Increased in production, value-adding to spur the growth of PH’s coco industry
United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP) said there is still a lot of room to grow for the Philippine coconut industry, particularly when it comes to coconut oil production and value adding.
As of now, the country remains the world’s top exporter of the commodity, though, in terms of production, it lags behind India and Indonesia.
In 2017, the country’s coconut oil exports generated over $1.461 billion in total revenue, which translates to about 30 percent jump from the $1.050 billion coconut oil export income generated in 2016.
“It is the biggest agricultural export, yet there is way more we can do specially in higher value product exports”, UCAP Chairman Dean Lao Jr. said.
“Local demand for coconut oil can also be bolstered to help augment revenues lost for farmers due to external market forces,” he added.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2016 shows that there are about 3.6 million hectares of land planted with about 338.7 million fruit-bearing coconut trees nationwide.
That accounts for about 26 percent of total agricultural land in the country. Of the 81 provinces, 68 are considered as coconut producing areas.
In terms of yield, the Philippines produces 4,000 nuts per hectare annually. This compares to the world leader, India, which produces about 10,000 nuts per hectare yearly.
Moving forward, Lao said coconut oil can be used to produce countless products — from cooking oil to food ingredients, medicines, and natural consumer goods like soaps and detergents.