To revitalize the Philippine coconut industry and increase farmers’ incomes and drive economic development, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of Coconut Farmer’s Organizations of the Philippines (CCFOP-CONFED) and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) recently at the PCA Auditorium in Quezon City.
The MoU signed between PCA and CFOP-CONFED, represented by its Executive Director Charles Avila, along with PRRM, represented by President Edicio dela Torre, seeks to promote collaboration, and expand the reach of support services of the PCA in line with its mandate and under President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s “Bagong Pilipinas” brand of governance as well.
In his opening statement, PCA Administrator Bernie Cruz said that the PCA has been in constant communication with coconut farmers to assess the real situation on the ground.
According to Cruz, coconut remains one of the country’s top dollar-earning exports despite years of stagnation and lack of support.
“Ang hamon sa atin ngayon ay magtulungan at hindi magpatalo dahil tayo ang nagsimula na magpakilala sa mundo ng ating mga coconut products.”
“Kami po ay patuloy na nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga farmers, inaalam natin ano ang kalagayan ng coconut industry. Sa ngayon, nananatiling top dollar earner ang coconut industry, pero sabi nga ng mga coconut farmers ay hindi nasusuportahan nang mabuti. Kaya ang hamon sa atin ngayon ay magtulungan at hindi magpatalo dahil tayo ang nagsimula na magpakilala sa mundo ng ating mga coconut products,” he said.
Cruz added that to address the growing demand for coconut products, Marcos has instructed PCA during its 50th anniversary to conduct mass planting and replanting of coconut trees nationwide.
“Dati puro coconut oil lang, ngayon more than 60 products na ang puwede nating magawa sa ating coconut.”
“Ang bilin ng presidente ay magtanim tayo nang sa ganun ay hindi tayo kulangin ng suplay. Dati puro coconut oil lang, ngayon more than 60 products na ang puwede nating magawa sa ating coconut. Kapag tayo ay nag-replant ng niyog, madodoble natin ang average yield na 44 nuts per year na bunga at dodoble rin ang kita ng mga farmer,” he explained.
In 2021, based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), coconut oil ($1.431 billion), desiccated coconut ($396 million), and copra oil cake ($67.54 million) secured the first, fourth, and 10th positions, respectively, among the Philippines’ top agricultural exports in terms of value in US dollars.
Furthermore, non-traditional coconut products like virgin coconut oil (worth P26 billion in exports), coconut concentrates (P4.40 billion), and coconut milk (P2.44 billion) have swiftly gained ground in export earnings according to the latest data from PCA.