Philippines aims at improving coconut production

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coconuttreeThe Philippine government bolstered its bid on improving nationwide production of coconut to ensure supply of this top dollar-earner despite last year’s onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in Central Philippines, a coconut-producing area.

Aside from pursuing its regular planting, replanting and salt fertilisation activities in coconut-producing areas nationwide, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) also decided undertaking special fertilisation intervention in three central Philippine regions which this agency cited as having sustained the most coconut production damage from ‘Yolanda.’

“We’re optimistic Philippine coconut production can bounce back,” said Pablo Romero, PCA Field Operations Division Officer-in-Charge.

In its final Yolanda damage report, the PCA said the typhoon either slightly, moderately, severely or totally damaged some 44.12 million coconut trees in Central Philippines’ Mimaropa region as well as regions IV-A, V, VI, VII, VIII and XIII.

Latest available preliminary PCA data also show nationwide volume of coconut production dipped to some 15.35 million metric tonnes in 2013, the year ‘Yolanda’ struck, from 15.86 million metric tonnes in 2012.

Romero noted the PCA continues spearheading planting and re-planting activities nationwide to increase the number of coconut trees in the country and to replace those which the agency already deemed senile or non-productive.

The PCA also leads nationwide efforts to fertilise coconut trees using salt to improve these plants’ productivity, he continued.

Under its Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery programme, however, PCA’s thrust is to conduct in Central Philippines’ regions VI, VII and VIII special fertilization using a combination of fertilisers.

Conduct of such special fertilisation in the three regions aims to help fast-track recovery of almost 26 million coconut trees which Yolanda either slightly, moderately or severely damaged there.

The agency is aiming for faster recovery, noting Yolanda totally damaged some 16.2 million other coconut trees in those regions alone. Such count exceeds the number of coconut plants Yolanda totally damaged in Mimaropa region (3,902 trees), Region IV-A (227 trees) and Region XIII (719 trees).

“We must plant near the totally damaged trees since these have no chance of recovering anymore and need to be removed in due time,” noted Romero.

Although not endemic to the Philippines, the sun-loving coconut plant (scientific name ‘Cocos nucifera) thrives nationwide and has been an economically important crop for the country even before the 20th century.

“Since 1840, coconut products in the Philippines were traded in small quantities with Chinese/Malay traders – coconut fibers and coconut oil were likewise used by the Spaniards in rigging the galleon and as food for sailors plying the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade,” the PCA noted.

The coconut’s food and non-food uses diversified over the years, enabling this palm to gain the distinction of being called the ‘tree of life.’ Among traditional products derived from the crop are coconut oil, copra, dessicated coconut, coconut shell charcoal, activated carbon and coco-chemicals, noted PCA.

PCA also said non-traditional products from the crop include coconut-based meat; coconut oil-based shortening and margarine; coconut sap-based sugar, vinegar and liquor; coconut water-based juice, vinegar and nata de coco; coconut coir, pots and peat as well as coconut-based soap, shampoo and handicrafts.

Government data show volumes of coconut-based products exported from the Philippines averaged 1.8 million metric tonnes during the last 10 years from 2004 to 2013. The data also show average value of those exports totaled nearly $1.3 billion during the reference period.

PCA noted coconut products are consistently among the country’s top 10 merchandise exports. Fifty-two of the country’s coconut-based exports accounted for some 59 percent of total global requirement last year, PCA continued.

Citing a report presented during an ASEAN technical working group meeting in April 2013, Romero also said the Philippines is among the world’s leading coconut producers with around 24 per cent of 2011 global production in copra terms.

“The report likewise showed the Philippines ranked second to Indonesia in terms of coconut hectarage in 2011 at 3.4 million has.,” he noted.

PCA data indicate nearly 3.6 million hectares. or 27 per cent of total agricultural land in 68 of 79 provinces nationwide were planted to coconut in 2013, marking an increase from the area covered in 2011.

The country had 338 million nut-bearing coconut trees last year when almost 15.5 billion nuts from the crop were produced nationwide, the PCA also noted. For 2014, it targets undertaking coconut planting and replanting activities in 195,000 has. of land around the country. The agency also targets planting and replanting 225,821 has. nationwide in each of 2015 and 2016.

“Some areas have coconut trees that are widely spaced so we can plant between these,” said Romero.

PCA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Ramon Rivera said the agency also came up with a triangle-shaped planting pattern for coconuts to help these plants better withstand inclement weather and other conditions.

He noted such triangular pattern of about 2m.x2m.x2m. provides space enough for the trees’ roots to be intertwined, better anchoring these plants to the ground.

“That will make it harder for coconut trees to be toppled,” he said.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Philippine government bolstered its bid on improving nationwide production of coconut to ensure supply of this top dollar-earner despite last year’s onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in Central Philippines, a coconut-producing area.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

coconuttreeThe Philippine government bolstered its bid on improving nationwide production of coconut to ensure supply of this top dollar-earner despite last year’s onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda in Central Philippines, a coconut-producing area.

Aside from pursuing its regular planting, replanting and salt fertilisation activities in coconut-producing areas nationwide, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) also decided undertaking special fertilisation intervention in three central Philippine regions which this agency cited as having sustained the most coconut production damage from ‘Yolanda.’

“We’re optimistic Philippine coconut production can bounce back,” said Pablo Romero, PCA Field Operations Division Officer-in-Charge.

In its final Yolanda damage report, the PCA said the typhoon either slightly, moderately, severely or totally damaged some 44.12 million coconut trees in Central Philippines’ Mimaropa region as well as regions IV-A, V, VI, VII, VIII and XIII.

Latest available preliminary PCA data also show nationwide volume of coconut production dipped to some 15.35 million metric tonnes in 2013, the year ‘Yolanda’ struck, from 15.86 million metric tonnes in 2012.

Romero noted the PCA continues spearheading planting and re-planting activities nationwide to increase the number of coconut trees in the country and to replace those which the agency already deemed senile or non-productive.

The PCA also leads nationwide efforts to fertilise coconut trees using salt to improve these plants’ productivity, he continued.

Under its Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery programme, however, PCA’s thrust is to conduct in Central Philippines’ regions VI, VII and VIII special fertilization using a combination of fertilisers.

Conduct of such special fertilisation in the three regions aims to help fast-track recovery of almost 26 million coconut trees which Yolanda either slightly, moderately or severely damaged there.

The agency is aiming for faster recovery, noting Yolanda totally damaged some 16.2 million other coconut trees in those regions alone. Such count exceeds the number of coconut plants Yolanda totally damaged in Mimaropa region (3,902 trees), Region IV-A (227 trees) and Region XIII (719 trees).

“We must plant near the totally damaged trees since these have no chance of recovering anymore and need to be removed in due time,” noted Romero.

Although not endemic to the Philippines, the sun-loving coconut plant (scientific name ‘Cocos nucifera) thrives nationwide and has been an economically important crop for the country even before the 20th century.

“Since 1840, coconut products in the Philippines were traded in small quantities with Chinese/Malay traders – coconut fibers and coconut oil were likewise used by the Spaniards in rigging the galleon and as food for sailors plying the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade,” the PCA noted.

The coconut’s food and non-food uses diversified over the years, enabling this palm to gain the distinction of being called the ‘tree of life.’ Among traditional products derived from the crop are coconut oil, copra, dessicated coconut, coconut shell charcoal, activated carbon and coco-chemicals, noted PCA.

PCA also said non-traditional products from the crop include coconut-based meat; coconut oil-based shortening and margarine; coconut sap-based sugar, vinegar and liquor; coconut water-based juice, vinegar and nata de coco; coconut coir, pots and peat as well as coconut-based soap, shampoo and handicrafts.

Government data show volumes of coconut-based products exported from the Philippines averaged 1.8 million metric tonnes during the last 10 years from 2004 to 2013. The data also show average value of those exports totaled nearly $1.3 billion during the reference period.

PCA noted coconut products are consistently among the country’s top 10 merchandise exports. Fifty-two of the country’s coconut-based exports accounted for some 59 percent of total global requirement last year, PCA continued.

Citing a report presented during an ASEAN technical working group meeting in April 2013, Romero also said the Philippines is among the world’s leading coconut producers with around 24 per cent of 2011 global production in copra terms.

“The report likewise showed the Philippines ranked second to Indonesia in terms of coconut hectarage in 2011 at 3.4 million has.,” he noted.

PCA data indicate nearly 3.6 million hectares. or 27 per cent of total agricultural land in 68 of 79 provinces nationwide were planted to coconut in 2013, marking an increase from the area covered in 2011.

The country had 338 million nut-bearing coconut trees last year when almost 15.5 billion nuts from the crop were produced nationwide, the PCA also noted. For 2014, it targets undertaking coconut planting and replanting activities in 195,000 has. of land around the country. The agency also targets planting and replanting 225,821 has. nationwide in each of 2015 and 2016.

“Some areas have coconut trees that are widely spaced so we can plant between these,” said Romero.

PCA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Ramon Rivera said the agency also came up with a triangle-shaped planting pattern for coconuts to help these plants better withstand inclement weather and other conditions.

He noted such triangular pattern of about 2m.x2m.x2m. provides space enough for the trees’ roots to be intertwined, better anchoring these plants to the ground.

“That will make it harder for coconut trees to be toppled,” he said.

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