Value adding in coconut products sought

DAVAO CITY—Stakeholders in the coconut industry in Mindanao and the whole country will converge for a two-day summit slated on July 27 and 28 at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao City.

The event, dubbed as “International Coconut Conference,” will thoroughly discuss the current situation of the coconut industry in the country and the challenges it is dealing with and the opportunities coconut farmers and players can gain under the new administration.

The two-day summit will also feature exhibitions, business matching, technical lectures, demonstration seminars and farm tours.

Reynaldo Go, chairman of the Coconut Industry Cluster Inc., in Davao region, expressed optimism the event will help coconut farmers and players level up their production and expand market opportunities.

The event, he added, will pave the way for coconut farmers and players to increase their income through value adding and shift from the old practices of producing raw coconut materials intended for manufacturers.

Coconut farmers for centuries now have been tied up in producing copra products and charcoals, he added.

Go pointed out that the country’s coconut industry must move up in the value chain, and undertake value adding in coco products and engage in the production of non-food and food products that are potential in international markets now that the Philippines is already into the Asean integration.

Nonfood products, such as coco coir, and food-based products that include coco sugar, syrup, chips, water, vinegar and virgin oil are among the merchandises that are potential for international markets, Go stressed.

Go also urged the coconut farmers to improve their coconut production by adopting better farm management, including the application of fertilizers in their farms.

He emphasized that the country’s coconut production is low compared to other coconut-producing countries, and one of the reasons of the low production is the lack of farm management and fertilization of coconut trees.

Better farm management will result to improved productivity, he added.

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