|PCA Acministrator Euclides Forbes|
More and more byproducts of the coconut are becoming commercialized, thanks to government and private initiatives. We are, of course, familiar with the many old byproducts like broom, vinegar, coco coir, coco peat, virgin coconut oil and lately coco sugar and coco water from mature nuts (not buko).
Two big companies, Peter Paul and Franklin Baker in Quezon province are the two big exporters of coco water packed under secret technologies, which could include vacuum filtration, according to a scientist source.
The demand for processed coconut water has been increasing in leaps and bounds. According to Administrator Euclides Forbes of the Philippine Coconut Authority, the export of coconut water in January to April 2012 has been recorded at 5,993,888 liters valued at US$6,602,051. That’s a big increase from the figures in January to April 2011. During that period, total coconut water export was only 2,173,294 liters worth $2,406,351.
Among the big importers of coco water are the United States which imported 4,820,275 liters in January to April 2012, worth $5,300.639. In the same period last year, the US bought 1,652,711 liters worth $1,447,213.
Coco water from the Philippines is now exported to 29 countries. The Netherlands is emerging as a big market for this commodity. In January to April 2012, the Netherlands bought 225,189 liters worth $243,876. In the same period last year, it only bought 48,000 liters worth $43,200.
Other growing markets are Australia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and many others. Administrator Forbes expects that the figure will skyrocket in the next few years because of the many health benefits that drinkers derive from coconut water.
COCONUT REPLANTING – Meanwhile, we learned from the PCA administrator that they are funding a very unique scheme of planting and replanting coconut plantations.
For instance, did you know that if you can produce coconut seedlings in your own farm and plant the same, the PCA will pay you for the planting materials you yourself produced and planted in your own farm. The plants are yours. Only, the PCA monitors the progress of your project.
For the year 2012, they are targeting the production of 13 million seednuts for distribution to target areas where coconut growing is highly suitable. There are more than 60 provinces in the country that could grow coconuts.This should provide an opportunity for those who know how to germinate coconuts in large scale. The PCA will buy every seedling that you can produce at about P27 each.
FREE FERTILIZERS – The PCA also has its program of giving free fertilizers for coconut, particularly salt which has been proven to increase coconut yields by several percent.About two kilos of salt are applied to a fruiting coconut tree.
To help coconut farmers who are often stereotyped as the poorest farmers in the country, they are being taught to integrate the raising of farm animals under their coconut trees.
These could include free-range chickens, goats and sheep, cattle and others.
Fruits and vegetables are another project they are motivating the farmers to grow. These could include cacao, rambutan, durian, lanzones and many others.