The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Region 2 held a free webinar on business opportunities in the coconut industry via Zoom and was simultaneously broadcasted through Facebook Live last April 22 and 23.
Over 100 coconut farmers, enterprises, growers, processors, local government units, enthusiasts, and potential investors participated in the webinar.
“The possibilities and opportunities for coconut both in the local and global scene are almost endless, and Region 2 has the potential to become an active industry player having a vast agricultural land that could serve as expansion areas for coconut production along with suitable agro-climatic conditions,” said DTI-Region 2 Regional Director Leah Pulido Ocampo in her opening message as she encouraged the participants to level up the region’s contribution in the coconut industry value chain.
Regional Manager Dennis D. Andres of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said 5 years from now, Cagayan Valley could be one of the major coconut-producing regions in the country.
The presentation on the value-addition of coconut products heightened the interest of the participants to engage in various business activities in coconut particularly on virgin coconut oil (VCO), coconut flour processing, coconut sap sugar production, coco coir and peat production, as well as coco shell and charcoal production as the profitability and market potential were highlighted.
“It was affirmed in the discussions that based on studies, VCO has anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-protozoal, and anti-fungal characteristics and is also loaded with anti-oxidant properties which strengthen the immune system,” the DTI said.
Maureen Pasciolco, owner of Pasciolco Agri Ventures, inspired the participants by sharing her humble beginning as an entrepreneur until she became one of the pioneer producers of VCO in 2002. From a small production area, her venture has expanded and now has three plant locations in Quezon and Batangas, creating over a hundred direct and indirect jobs.
Pasciolco’s Agri Ventures’ market has reached as far as Europe, United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and countries in Asia like Japan, Korea, Singapore, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
Her success has been attributed to its company’s desire and commitment to continuously innovate and offer quality products by complying with various quality standard certifications and displaying the courage to expand to new markets.
The two-day webinar included topics that were tackled by industry experts from PCA, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Science and Technology, and Landbank-Cagayan Lending Center.