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Scope For Non - Food Coconut Oil Products, Issues, Strategies And Potentials

In a country like the Philippines with 12 billion coconuts harvested each year-far more than the food requirements of its 80 million population (principally cooking oil) there is compulsion to develop strategies in order to add market value for the balance of its coconut output. For many years, it was essentially limited to the coconut oil (CNO) as a basic commodity - about 1.2 million metric tons annually. The potential for added value in the form of specialty chemicals - or oleo chemicals to augment incomes is just too big and cannot be ignored. On one side the farmers have been complaining about low returns, yet nothing tangible or visible (to them at least) is apparently being worked out on a nation-wide scale. One the other hand, the processors (or millers who purchase their Copra) find it difficult to communicate this situation which is in fact market dictated. Crush margins are in fact cyclical in nature; positive when copra is in abundance but quickly dissipates when drought comes in - as more millers compete for the reduced supply. While farmers from time to time may be paid higher in a bull run, the scarcity in supply cuts the take home income anyhow.

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