Philippines counting on coconuts

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the world’s second largest producer of coconuts, the Philippines will undergo an ambitious project to revitalise the industry by replanting trees over the next six years. Increasing cocopeat production will also give the country a sharpened edge with industry rivals.

The Philippines is the second largest producer of coconuts in the world, ranking directly behind Indonesia, according to 2012 statistics by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Coconut cultivation plays an integral role in local diets of the archipelago’s population. Of the Philippines’ approximately 12 million hectares of farmland, 3.56 million hectares are dedicated to coconut production, 2011 statistics released by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) show.

Throughout the Philippines, the coconut is consumed and utilized in a variety of ways. Coconut leaves are often used to wrap rice for cooking and used in its subsequent storage in packets known as “puso.” Coconut milk, coconut jam and so-called coconut sport fruits, sweetened meat of the copra that is sliced and severed in strings, are all popular forms of consuming coconuts.

Although the Philippines produced an impressive 15.2 billion-nut equivalent and 2.5 million metric tonnes of coconuts (in copra terms) during 2011, according to the PCA, the organisation noted that the output is only 30 per cent of potential capacity.

See the graph here: http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/cocostat.php#trees

Southern Leyte in the Eastern Visayas – the Philippines’ second largest coconut producing region behind Mindanao where 56 per cent of total production comes from, namely from the Davao region – has been identified for a pilot project to revitalize the industry. The “Coconut Rehabilitation Road Map” will oversee the fertilization of land and replanting of coconut trees in Southern Leyte over the next six years with the aim to raise coconut production to a volume valued at $34 million annually by 2018, benefiting some 64,000 families. The project will be funded by the PCA, a governmental agency that came into existence during martial law in 1973, absorbing the powers and functions of the former Coconut Coordinating Council and becoming the sole entity tasked with developing the coconut industry.

The Philippines’ 2011 coconut production represents a downturn from 2010 production levels largely due to aging trees and the devastating effects of tropical cyclone Washi (known locally as Sendong), which made landfall over Mindanao in December 2011, triggering flash flooding, causing $48.4 million in damages and killing 1,268 people. Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) that sent torrential rains falling down over Mindanao once again in December 2012 looks likely to echo further harmful effects on the economy.

Destructive natural disasters notwithstanding, the industry cannot escape the fact that risks of declining production will continue if so-called “senile coconut trees” aren’t dealt with. Out of a total of 340 million bearing coconut trees, the Philippines had an estimated 46.6 million senile trees (about 14 per cent of the total) in 2010, or those categorized as being over 60 years old and producing 18 nuts or less for over three years, according to the PCA. Productive coconut trees will usually yield 46 nuts a year without intervention or fertilization.

The frightening neglect of these trees has led to the PCA taking initiatives to plant coconut seedlings, targeting 20 million in 2012 and 26 million in 2013, with funding for replanting amounting to $12 million and $19.4 million, respectively.

Replanting coconut trees will give an edge to the Philippines against industry rivals Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, but there are segments of the industry that are currently overlooked and can be focused on to further sharpen export prowess. Although the Philippines has more agricultural land dedicated to coconuts than India and Sri Lanka combined, both of these countries stand ahead of the archipelago in exports of cocopeat.

Cocopeat is a by-product of the coconut husk and used primarily as a growing medium for organic agriculture or crops using hydroponics. In 2011, the Philippines exported some 5,000 metric tons of cocopeat, while India’s exports came to 400,000 metric tonnes and Sri Lanka’s to 82,000 metric tonnes.

An eminent reason for the overlooked export opportunity is that only 30 per cent of discarded coconut husks in the Philippines are used to process cocopeat, a research paper from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization showed. If producers would open their eyes to cocopeat’s potential, the Philippines could overtake India and Sri Lanka in this niche market, the paper argues.

While shortfalls exist, the Philippines has increased exports of coco water, which rose 200 per cent to almost 6 million liters in the first four months of 2012.

Altogether, the Philippines exported a total of $1.957 billion in coconut products in 2011, with coco water gaining momentum abroad. More coconut producers will have to try and follow this to lead the Philippines’ industry to the top.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the world’s second largest producer of coconuts, the Philippines will undergo an ambitious project to revitalise the industry by replanting trees over the next six years. Increasing cocopeat production will also give the country a sharpened edge with industry rivals.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the world’s second largest producer of coconuts, the Philippines will undergo an ambitious project to revitalise the industry by replanting trees over the next six years. Increasing cocopeat production will also give the country a sharpened edge with industry rivals.

The Philippines is the second largest producer of coconuts in the world, ranking directly behind Indonesia, according to 2012 statistics by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Coconut cultivation plays an integral role in local diets of the archipelago’s population. Of the Philippines’ approximately 12 million hectares of farmland, 3.56 million hectares are dedicated to coconut production, 2011 statistics released by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) show.

Throughout the Philippines, the coconut is consumed and utilized in a variety of ways. Coconut leaves are often used to wrap rice for cooking and used in its subsequent storage in packets known as “puso.” Coconut milk, coconut jam and so-called coconut sport fruits, sweetened meat of the copra that is sliced and severed in strings, are all popular forms of consuming coconuts.

Although the Philippines produced an impressive 15.2 billion-nut equivalent and 2.5 million metric tonnes of coconuts (in copra terms) during 2011, according to the PCA, the organisation noted that the output is only 30 per cent of potential capacity.

See the graph here: http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/cocostat.php#trees

Southern Leyte in the Eastern Visayas – the Philippines’ second largest coconut producing region behind Mindanao where 56 per cent of total production comes from, namely from the Davao region – has been identified for a pilot project to revitalize the industry. The “Coconut Rehabilitation Road Map” will oversee the fertilization of land and replanting of coconut trees in Southern Leyte over the next six years with the aim to raise coconut production to a volume valued at $34 million annually by 2018, benefiting some 64,000 families. The project will be funded by the PCA, a governmental agency that came into existence during martial law in 1973, absorbing the powers and functions of the former Coconut Coordinating Council and becoming the sole entity tasked with developing the coconut industry.

The Philippines’ 2011 coconut production represents a downturn from 2010 production levels largely due to aging trees and the devastating effects of tropical cyclone Washi (known locally as Sendong), which made landfall over Mindanao in December 2011, triggering flash flooding, causing $48.4 million in damages and killing 1,268 people. Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Pablo) that sent torrential rains falling down over Mindanao once again in December 2012 looks likely to echo further harmful effects on the economy.

Destructive natural disasters notwithstanding, the industry cannot escape the fact that risks of declining production will continue if so-called “senile coconut trees” aren’t dealt with. Out of a total of 340 million bearing coconut trees, the Philippines had an estimated 46.6 million senile trees (about 14 per cent of the total) in 2010, or those categorized as being over 60 years old and producing 18 nuts or less for over three years, according to the PCA. Productive coconut trees will usually yield 46 nuts a year without intervention or fertilization.

The frightening neglect of these trees has led to the PCA taking initiatives to plant coconut seedlings, targeting 20 million in 2012 and 26 million in 2013, with funding for replanting amounting to $12 million and $19.4 million, respectively.

Replanting coconut trees will give an edge to the Philippines against industry rivals Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, but there are segments of the industry that are currently overlooked and can be focused on to further sharpen export prowess. Although the Philippines has more agricultural land dedicated to coconuts than India and Sri Lanka combined, both of these countries stand ahead of the archipelago in exports of cocopeat.

Cocopeat is a by-product of the coconut husk and used primarily as a growing medium for organic agriculture or crops using hydroponics. In 2011, the Philippines exported some 5,000 metric tons of cocopeat, while India’s exports came to 400,000 metric tonnes and Sri Lanka’s to 82,000 metric tonnes.

An eminent reason for the overlooked export opportunity is that only 30 per cent of discarded coconut husks in the Philippines are used to process cocopeat, a research paper from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization showed. If producers would open their eyes to cocopeat’s potential, the Philippines could overtake India and Sri Lanka in this niche market, the paper argues.

While shortfalls exist, the Philippines has increased exports of coco water, which rose 200 per cent to almost 6 million liters in the first four months of 2012.

Altogether, the Philippines exported a total of $1.957 billion in coconut products in 2011, with coco water gaining momentum abroad. More coconut producers will have to try and follow this to lead the Philippines’ industry to the top.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid