Marcos keen on making PH world's no. 1 coconut exporter

There is a great opportunity for the country to become the world's no. 1 coconut exporter, President Marcos said.

(Photo courtesy of Malacañang) 

Marcos made the statement after the Private Sector Advisory Council-Agriculture Sector Group (PSAC-ASG) recommended the launching of a massive coconut tree planting program by increasing seednut production. 

“This is really a great opportunity to the country. We have a chance to do it because [of] the market. Every single part of the nut [has] use and can be sold,” he said during the meeting with PSAC on Wednesday, May 8. 

At present, the Philippines is the second biggest coconut exporting country in the world, next only to Indonesia.

In order to achieve this, the Philippine Coconut Authority plans to plant 100 million coconut trees by the end of Marcos administration.

However, PSAC-ASG member Christopher Po of Century Pacific Group, said the program is not feasible due to limited funding.

Marcos said he will see to it that enough funding will be given to the PCA to carry out the program.

Moreover, the advisory body made several recommendations to remedy the problem. They proposed to task the PCA to outline a roadmap to accelerate the launch of the coconut planting program. 

They also recommended the PCA to enter into contract farming with local salt farmers to supply salt as fertilizer. 

The PSAC’s recommendation on salt development is consistent with Republic Act No. 11985 or the Philippine Salt Industry Act. The law provides that LGUs shall identify the appropriate areas for local salt production in their respective localities. 

According to PSAC, a P2.5-billion budget allows the fertilization of 55 million coconut trees and doubling of local salt production. This could result to 25 percent increase in nut productivity and additional profit to farmers, the body said. 

For this year, the PCA aims to replant 8.5 million coconut seedlings in 59,744 hectares. It also intends to fertilize 2.8 million trees in 28,341 hectares. 

Meanwhile, PSAC also wants the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and LGUs to pilot areas for salt production. It also urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a roadmap for the gradual implementation of the Biodiesel Act increasing biodiesel from B2 to B59 over three years.