PH’s coconut oil industry still yet to reach its maximum potential

The Philippines’ coconut industry is yet to reach its maximum potential, particularly when it comes to coconut oil production and value adding. The country remains the world’s top exporter of the commodity, though in terms of production, it lags behind India and Indonesia.

The country’s coconut oil exports generated over $1.461 billion in total revenue in 2017, based on data from the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP). That figure translates to about 30% jump from the $1.050 billion coconut oil export income generated in 2016.

“It is the biggest agricultural export, yet there is way more we can do especially in higher value product exports”, UCAP Chairman Dean Lao Jr. said. “Local demand for coconut oil can also be bolstered to help augment revenues lost for farmers due to external market forces.”

Local data
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for 2016, shows that there are about 3.6 million hectares of land planted with about 338.7 million fruit-bearing coconut trees nationwide. That accounts for about 26% of total agricultural land in the country. Of the 81 provinces, 68 are considered as coconut producing areas.

In terms of yield, the Philippines produces 4,000 nuts per hectare annually. This compares to the world leader, India, which produces about 10,000 nuts per hectare yearly.

Coconut oil potential
“Coconut oil can be used to produce countless products—from cooking oil to food ingredients, medicines, and natural consumer goods like soaps and detergents,” said Lao.

Locally, lawmakers have proposed to increase coco-biodiesel blend in automotive diesel from the current 2 percent to 5 percent. Doing so will make our fuel and emissions more environmentally friendly. This advocacy will create new demand for coconut oil and consequently bolster coconut farmers’ revenue. More importantly, the inclusive benefits to the country include less dependence on oil importation; less forex outflow; and mileage improvement for motorists.

World Coconut Congress
These opportunities for will be put under the limelight at the 1st World Coconut Congress, which is set to be held at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City on August 14 to 16, 2018.

As a major event during the 2018 Coconut Week, the 1st World Coconut Congress will touch on the provisions of export and free-trade agreements, integrated coconut processing, the latest trends and product innovations, and more.

Among the key speakers are PCA Administrator Romulo dela Rosa, Asia & Pacific Coconut Community Executive Director Uron Salum, and Strategic Development Cooperation Asia CEO Ivan Idrovo.

For inquiries, contact the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines at +632 531-0351 or World Expos & Concepts Inc. at +632 855-8341 to 44.