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Agriculture

PBBM directs PCA to accelerate coconut industry modernization, uplift lives of coconut farmers

DA-PCA

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday instructed the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to intensify the implementation of the development plan for industry modernization and to invest in new technologies to ensure the resilience of the coconut sector.

Speaking during the 50th anniversary celebration of the PCA, the President said: “So, the PCA must intensify the implementation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan to accelerate the modernization of the coconut industry and to improve the lives of our coconut farmers and their families.”

“As we reflect upon the last half-century, we are reminded of the valued history of the PCA, and the challenges that it has withstood to get to where it is today.”

The President also encouraged the agency to continue uplifting the lives of the coconut farmers, empower them to improve their conditions, and free them from poverty so they could dream big for themselves and for their loved ones.

According to Marcos, the agency must also recognize the challenges that lie ahead of the coconut industry—climate change, pests, and diseases remain a significant threat to coconut trees, thus endangering the future of agriculture.

“So, let us double our efforts to tackle these issues and invest in technologies and initiatives that will not only safeguard but also ensure the resilience of the coconut sector of our agriculture,” he told PCA.

With coconut trees being a source of livelihood for generations, Marcos said it is of great necessity for the country to continue developing and improving coconut byproducts “so that we can find new uses and expand its distribution to new markets.”

Thursday’s event, he said, is a recognition of dedicated and diligent coconut farmers who work tirelessly to plant, take care of, and nourish resilient coconut trees necessary for the emergence of a stronger coconut industry.

The President also participated in the National Coconut Tree-Planting Activity in the vicinity of Coconut Palace during the PCA anniversary under the theme “Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future of the Coconut Industry.”

The PCA was created on June 30, 1973 through Presidential Decree (PD) No. 232, s. 1973, to promote the accelerated growth of the coconut and palm oil industries.

It was amended by PD No. 582, s. 1974, to include the formulation and implementation of a nationwide coconut replanting program and the distribution of free hybrid coconut seed nuts to coconut farmers.

Coconut production in the country increased by 1.6 percent from 3.20 million metric tons (MMT) in the first quarter of 2022 to 3.26 MMT in the first quarter of 2023.

Davao Region is the top coconut producer in the country, with 487.10 thousand MT or a 15.0-percent share of the total coconut production in the first quarter of 2023. Other top-producing regions were Zamboanga Peninsula with 14.9-percent share and Northern Mindanao with 13.6-percent share.

The Philippines is a major exporter of coconut oil and other products such as copra meal and desiccated coconut, whose exports declined in the first four months of 2023.

Record shows coconut exports declined by more than half from USD1.04 billion in January to April 2022 to USD490.16 million in the same period in 2023.

The global coconut products market was valued at USD20.24 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 8.4 percent from 2023 to 2030.

Growth can be attributed to increased awareness of the benefits of coconuts and the growing demand for coconut-based products in major developed countries. | PND

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