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Strategic Efforts Taken By The Philippines To Make The Coconut Industry Globally Competitive

The Philippines is the major source of coconut oil in the world market with a market share of 62%. Besides coconut oil, it provides the world some fifty coconut - based export products. The area devoted to coconut farming is around 3.12 billion ha with an average production of 12.5 billion nuts annually or 2.38 million metric tons m copra equivalent About 65% of coconut plantations are small holdings and 68% of them are monocropped. Of the total production, 77% is exported in different forms and the balance consumed domestically. Among the different products coconut oil accounts for the bulk of exports. Desiccated coconut shell based activated carbon and copra meal are other major products exported. Oleochemicals, nata de coco and makapuno are the major non-traditional products exported and these accounted for a total turnover of S 67 million forming 11% of aggregate foreign exchange earnings. The productivity of coconut is comparatively low at the average 638 kg of copra per ha. The availability of planting materials of high yielding varieties is not adequate to satisfy the local demands. The use of fertilizers in coconut fanning is not popular. There is underutilization in the processing sector due to short supply of raw material. The copra quality is also poor. The highly volatile price behaviour of coconut oil affects the economic viability of domestic coconut industry. Enhancing productivity of coconut, augmenting on-farm income, promoting integrated farming, provoding micro-credit in the coconut sector, extending assistance for collective marketing and providing life insurance cover to fanners are the strategic programmes. The processing and marketing sectors will receive special attention. Projects for common funding have been suggested.

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