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THE PHILIPPINE COCONUT

INDUSTRY: PERFORMANCE, ISSUES


ANDRECOMMENDATIONS

Rolando Dy, Ph.D.

August 2006
DISCLAIMER

“The views expressed in this report are strictly those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ateneo de Manila University”.
Abstract

This paper seeks to identify and discuss the major problems and issues affecting the current
programs in the Philippine coconut industry; discuss the effects of government policies and
programs on the sector and how these policies and programs helped the sector go closer or
farther away from the major goals of poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture and global
competitiveness in the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA); and suggest
concrete policy recommendations that will ensure government programs to be more attuned
to AFMA goals. The study finds that policies and programs in the coconut industry are
characterized by lack of sustained direction and funding. To move the industry forward, it is
imperative to develop a stakeholder, market-driven roadmap; allocate budget based on social
and economic returns; and engage the civil society in program design, implementation and
monitoring.
THE PHILIPPINE COCONUT INDUSTRY
Performance, Issues and Recommendations

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This paper seeks to address three objectives: identify and discuss the major
problems and issues affecting the current programs in the sector; discuss the
effects of government policies and programs (DA and LGU) on the sector and
how these policies and programs helped the sector go closer or farther away
from the major goals in the AFMA of poverty alleviation, sustainable agriculture,
and global competitiveness; and suggest concrete policy recommendations that
will ensure government programs to be more attuned to AFMA goals.

The coconut industry comprises the largest farm area (3.3 M ha and 1.4 M farms)
in Philippine agriculture. It hosts some 3.4 M farmers and workers (Faustino,
2006). Coconut products generate the largest agri-food export. The industry has
performed dismally over the years due to several reasons, foremost of which are:
the lack of top level resolve, inequitable resource allocation, and implementation
constraints. As a result, low productivity prevails and, in turn, high poverty and
insurgency.

Problems and Issues Confronting the Current Programs

There are several issues that confront the coconut industry. These include: the
lack of top level commitment which has led to a lack of a serious development
program for the industry; the severe shortage of long-term financing for perennial
crops; resource allocation criteria, which is biased toward rice; institutional issues
with the PCA implementing mostly under-funded, short duration programs;
implementation problems with limited involvement, if at all, of LGUs, the private
sector, the civil society, and the academe; lack of civil society engagement
especially in analyzing the whole gamut of problems besetting the sector; global
market access such as the campaign of overseas soybean interests against
CNO in the US food usage as well as labeling and wrong attribution of the
negative impact on all saturated fats, including medium chain triglycerides from
coconut oil; and CARP and other laws which have discouraged private
investments following provisions on retention limits as well as transferability.

Government Policies and Programs and their Effects on the Sector and
AFMA Goals

Government policies are generally biased against tree crops in general, and
coconut in particular. First, public sector investments have focused on irrigated
rice due to the decades-old drive for rice self-sufficiency. Second, slow
implementation of CARP has contributed to investor uncertainties, and militated
against investment in long-gestating tree crops. Third, limited grace period for
tree crops and the high real interest rates resulting partly from Government
macro policies had made investment in long gestating crops unattractive (World
Bank, 1999).

Further, the age old reliance on the “recovery” of the coco levy fund as a means
to develop the industry has also boomeranged. Little funds were allocated by the
Government to coconut replanting since 1986.

Moreover, the AFMA funding constraint is severely exacerbated in the case of


coconut where support is miniscule relative to the needs.

Meanwhile, programs implemented included the World Bank-supported Coconut


Farms Development Project (CFDP), DAR’s agrarian reform communities
(ARCs) program, and the GMA Coconut program which took off from the
Maunlad na Niyugan Tugon sa Kahirapan Program, and the development of two
million ha of agribusiness lands in order to create two million jobs under the
MTPDP where 1.35 million ha will be in coconut lands. The focus has mainly
been on increasing the productivity and income of farmers through replanting,
fertilization and rehabilitation, as well as implementation of coconut-based
farming systems.

Overall, however, the policies and programs of the coconut industry were
characterized by lack of sustained directions and funding.

The “low intensity” approach to solving the problems of the coconut industry
meant lost opportunities in the last two decades especially in the areas of poverty
alleviation, global competitiveness, sustainable development, rational use of
resources, and people empowerment. It is a sad commentary of what
development management is not. Coconut provinces continue to be equated with
high poverty and, in many cases, insurgency. Vast areas of lands generate low
returns. The coconut industry is not globally competitive due to failure to put in
place competitive strategies and actions. Agriculture is under threat as many
coconut regions are unable to provide good incomes. In the process, out-
migration becomes the option for the rural poor.

Policy Recommendations

The industry has good potentials for growth from both production expansion and
market-led product diversification. Coconut lands also have tremendous scope
for farm diversification.

To move the industry forward, it is imperative to: (a) develop a stakeholder,


market-driven roadmap; (b) allocate budget based on social (economic) returns;
and (c) engage the civil society in program design, implementation and
monitoring. A quick resolution of the levy issue, its judicious fund management,
and utilization will be a plus factor. The interest earnings of the invested levy fund
will be adequate for development of the industry.

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THE PHILIPPINE COCONUT INDUSTRY
Performance, Issues and Recommendations 1

OVERVIEW

1. The coconut industry has been at the forefront of debate and controversy
for over three decades now. The situation stems from many sources: from the
“commanding” presence of the industry in the rural sector, to its being the
“orphan child” of Philippine agriculture, and to its claim to large assets – the
coconut levy fund.

2. Why is the industry that important? First, coconut farms are reportedly
present in 68 out of 79 provinces (Carpio, Personal Conversation, June 2006).
Second, coconut farms cover some 3.3 million hectares (ha), nearly 30% of
farmlands. Third, coconut regions host among the largest number of rural poor. 2
Predominantly coconut areas are almost always the sites of insurgency. Fourth,
coconut products contribute nearly half of agriculture exports. Fifth, coconut
lands have among the largest potential for diversification among the major crops.
Last but not the at least, it has a huge, untapped resource pool for industry
development (the coconut levy funds) which has been locked in legal battles
since 1986.

3. While the debates continue, the coconut industry is caught in a “time warp”
of stagnating production and, in turn severe poverty. Resource flow to the
industry is limited. And yet, this “orphan child” of Philippine agriculture has
among the highest potential for growth through productivity enhancement,
diversification, and industry value adding. If managed well, it can be instrumental
in rural industrialization and job creation.

4. The paper has three objectives:

(a) Identify and discuss the major problems and issues affecting the current
programs in the sector;

(b) Discuss the effects of government policies and programs (DA and LGU)
on the sector and how these policies and programs helped the sector go

1
Prepared by Rolando T. Dy, Ph.D. ,Executive Director; Center for Food and Agri Business,
University of Asia and the Pacific, Pasig City, Philippines. He is Fellow of the Center for
Investment and Trade Opportunities (CITO) Foundation. Senen Reyes, Senior Management
Specialist, CFA-UA&P, Manuel Lim and Oscar Torralba provided valuable inputs.
2
Poverty incidence remained very high at about 75% (World Bank, 1998)

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closer or farther away from the major goals in the AFMA of poverty
alleviation, sustainable agriculture, and global competitiveness; and
(c) Suggest concrete policy recommendations that will ensure government
programs to be more attuned to AFMA goals.

5. The paper has five parts: (a) review of industry status and performance; (b)
major problems and issues confronting the current programs; (c) specific
government policies and programs (DA and LGUs) and their effects on the
sector; (d) concrete policy recommendations; and (e) conclusions. Part (d) will
discuss how these policies contributed or deterred in the achievement of AFMA
goals. The study involved a review of existing literature, and interviews of
resource persons

INDUSTRY STATUS AND PERFORMANCE

6. This section will discuss the industry performance over the past two decades
in terms of production and exports, as well as analyze trends and structures.

7. Farm Production. The coconut industry by any measure is a major


agriculture industry. Coconut lands comprised 1.4 million farms, or 29% of all
farms (2002 Census of Agriculture). This magnitude is surprisingly higher than
rice lands at 1.35 million. Similarly, physical area of coconut lands totaled 3.32
million ha (34% of total), higher than rice at 2.5 million ha 3 and corn at 1.4 million
ha. By island group, Luzon had 20%, Visayas 34%, and Mindanao 46%. Two-
thirds of coconut areas are in five regions: Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Eastern
Visayas, Southern Mindanao, and Western Mindanao in that order.

8. Areas. Coconut farms averaged 2.4 ha and are bigger compared to rice
at 1.8 ha and corn at 2.0 ha, but smaller than sugarcane, 5.4 ha. The farms are
spread in 2.54 million parcels, equivalent to about 1.8 parcels per farm compared
to the overall average of 2. Altogether, two-thirds of all farms are owner-
operated, and 23% tenanted or leased. The average farm size shrank by a third
to 2.4 ha in 2002 from 3.6 ha in 1991, 4 in part due to the advent of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 1988, as well as increases
in number of farms to 1.4 million in 2002 from 0.76 million in 1991. Incidentally,
CARP had been extended up to 2008, and there is now a call to extend it farther
to 2013.

3
Annual harvested areas of rice is larger at about 4 million ha mainly due to higher cropping
intensity of irrigated rice lands and some rainfed lands.
4
The 1991 Census showed that there were 761,970 farms and 2,733,474 ha. The 22% increase
in area to 3,325,449 ha in 2002 Census is difficult to explain considering the “massive cutting of
trees,” unless some coconut areas were not captured in the 1991 census.

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Table 1. Coconut, Rice, Corn and Sugar Lands: Number of Farms, Farm
Size and Tenure
Item Tenure of Parcels (in percent)
Total No. Owned Tenanted Leased Others
No. of Farms
Rice 1,351,678 58.9 23.5 10.8 6.8
Corn 679,183 59.7 21.4 5.2 13.7
Coconut 1,400,394 65.6 19.1 3.4 11.9
Sugarcane 67,490 63.0 12.0 9.6 15.4
Others 1,323,994
All Types 4,822,739 61.4 20.1 5.5 13.0

Area of Farms Total Area Area Share by Tenure (in percent)


(ha)
Rice 2,467,164 63.9 23.1 8.3 4.7
Corn 1,354,428 67.1 19.3 5.2 8.4
Coconut 3,325,449 68.8 24.4 2.2 4.6
Sugarcane 362,877 76.0 7.7 11.1 5.2
Others 1,980,875
All Types 9,670,793 67.1 21.3 5.4 6.2
Source: 2002 Census of Agriculture

9. Productivity. At some 35-40 nuts per ha (about 750 kg copra /ha),


coconut has the lowest farm value per ha among crops. It is only half of corn, a
fifth of rice, and a sixth of sugarcane. It generates less than a third of the
average for all crops. As will be shown later, this is due to low yield, mono-
cropping, and underutilization of lands under the coconuts.

Table 2. Farm Production Value and Gross Value Added per Crop in 2002
Item Farm Production Gross Value FPV per GVA per
Value (FPV) Added (GVA) Ha/yr Ha/yr
Php million Php million (Php) (Php)
Rice 115,853 96,430 46,960 39,090
Corn 28,421 23,812 20,990 17,590
Coconut 35,438 26,863 10,660 8,080
Sugarcane 21,490 18,402 59,200 50,690
Banana 28,849 22,150 52,360 40,200
Other Crops 75,344 159,233 (a) 46,800 -
All Crops 305,395 346,890(a) 31,580 -
(a) NSCB data appears inconsistent with BAS data. FPV should be greater than GVA.
Source: FPV – Bureau of Agriculture Statistics; GVA – National Statistical Coordination
Board; Area - 2002 Census of Agriculture

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10. Coconut-based Industries. The coconut-based industries span many
activities (Annex 1). They are characterized, however, by over-capacity due to
the stagnant farm sector. The industry comprises:

(a) Some 65 coconut oil mills with an installed copra crushing capacity of 4.54
million tons a year;
(b) 45 oil refineries with installed capacity of 1.53 million tons of cochin and
refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) oil a year;
(c) 10 desiccated coconut plants with installed capacity of 132,700 tons a
year; and
(d) Eight oleo-chemical plants making intermediate coconut-based chemicals
like fatty alcohol, fatty acids, methyl ester, and glycerine (UCAP, 2004).

11. The other industrial products and byproducts include: shell charcoal,
activated carbon, coco coir, geo-textile and virgin coconut oil. The end-products
are found in margarine, shortening in bread, cakes, cookies and chips,
shampoos, and bath soaps, laundry soaps, detergents, cosmetics and
pharmaceuticals (Agustin, 2005).

12. Export. Coconut products remain the Philippine’s leading agriculture export
(US$840 to US$900 million a year) coming from 37 products and by-products
that were exported to 114 countries. The major exports are crude and refined oil,
copra meal, desiccated coconut, activated carbon, and oleo-chemicals. Exports
account for 80% of production and 20% are consumed locally (Agustin, 2005).

Table 3. Export of Major Coconut Products, Selected Years


1985 1995 2000 2005
Value (US$ million, f.o.b.)
Crude coconut oil 328.5 690.6 350.9 482.8
Refined coconut oil 18.8 26.3 135.5 174.5
Desiccated coconut 75.7 60.7 73.2 127.1
Activated carbon 14.3 22.0 31.0 39.2
Copra meal/cake 35.5 54.0 23.4 28.1

Quantity (ton)
Crude coconut oil 622,191 1,059,257 832,952 864,422
Refined coconut oil 28,415 75,284 227,998 287,894
Desiccated coconut 64,752 75,341 73,693 125,540
Activated carbon 12,412 20,219 31,546 33,843
Copra meal/cake 443,701 643,922 530,999 430,241

Source: National Statistics Office


Note: see also Annex 2 for global situationer

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13. Industry concerns. Much has been written about the coconut industry.
Observers such as Villegas and Esteban (1980), Habito (1988), Intal (1988),
World Bank (1987, 1989, 1998, 1999), Magat and Carpio (1997), Olander and
Johansson (1998), Aragon (2000), and Romero (2005) have noted the various
challenges facing the industry. These challenges include: low productivity,
limited intercropping, and in turn, high poverty. Aragon (2000) discussed these
constraints (Box 1). The causes include:

(a) Large areas are planted with low genetic potential;


(b) Vast areas are not fertilized while actual labor inputs are only half of
optimal;
(c) One third of the coconut trees are senile; and
(d) Coconuts are planted on marginal lands.

14. Meanwhile, the present supply chain of the industry is generally


characterized by cost-increasing rather that cost-reducing conditions (see also
Annex 3). These include:

(a) Unorganized and dispersed small holdings which affects economics of


scale in input supply, primary processing and marketing;
(b) Low yields caused by poor genetics, nil fertilization, and limited replanting
of tree stocks;
(c) Inadequate nut supply causes over-capacity of processing plants;
(d) High cost of logistics due to small production lots and high transport
costs;
(e) Global market threats from tariff and non-tariff barriers such as minimum
residues levels and labeling regulations 5 .

5
There are unsubstantiated health issues (saturated fats) raised by the soybean lobby in the
1980s which stuck to the consumers and food processors. Also, the US FDA labeling regulations
on transfatty acids (TFA) takes effect January 1, 2006. High tariffs on CNO in India (42%), and
discriminatory tariffs in China: 10% for Philippine CNO as compared to Indonesian CNO at 5%
(Agustin, 2005).

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Box 1. COCONUT INDUSTRY PROBLEMS

Aragon (2000) cited that low productivity and declining production could be attributed to the
following reasons:

1. Senility of coconut trees. About 25% of coconut bearing trees are senile or over 60
years old (PCA, 1995);
2. Widespread use of low yielding varieties due to lack of quality coconut seedlings
(Magat, 1999). More than 98% of the total coconut land area is planted to talls which
bear fruits after seven years, yield approximately one-half that of coconut hybrids, and
reach senility at 60 years (PCA, 1995).
3. Poor agronomic or farm management practices (Magat, 1999). Most coconut areas
are dependent on rainfall or have no irrigation systems. Moreover, only one percent of
the coconut parcels regularly receive fertilizer (Manicad, 1993).
4. Unabated cutting of coconut trees given the market for coco lumber. As of 1996, it was
reported that 2.5 million trees, about half of which were believed to be productive, had
been cut due to: a) the log ban which made traditional forest lumber very scarce and
raised demand for coconut lumber; b) low price of coconut; and c) the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program where some landlords, in an effort to evade land reform, cut
their coconut trees (PCA, 1995). To regulate the cutting of regular coconut trees, RA
8048 was enacted in 1995.
5. Poor soil nutrition. The soil fertility of most coconut farms has remarkably deteriorated
through years of cropping resulting in low coconut productivity (PCA, 1991). The PCA
study found that widespread deficiencies in nitrogen, chloride, sulfur, and potassium
caused low yields in many areas. Nutritional deficiency can reduce productivity by
about one ton of copra per hectare per year.
6. Incidence of pests and diseases. Cadang cadang, a viroid disease, kills millions of
coconut trees in the Philippines each year. Production loss due to this disease has
been at US$ 16 million annually (Manicad, 1993).
7. Natural calamities. The El Niño and the La Niña weather disturbances have an
adverse impact on coconut production.
8. Land conversion. In areas where massive felling of coconut trees occurred, coconut
lands have been converted to more profitable crops or to non-agricultural uses.
9. Lack of sustained and adequate resources for infrastructure support, research and
extension services especially in the continuing value formation, technical skills, and
entrepreneurial skills development of small coconut farmers. For example, PCA (1995)
reported that the provision of irrigation to small farmers and the construction of feeder
roads and buildings programmed for 1991 to 1995 were not carried out because of
lack of funds.
10. Tenure-related problems. Most producers are small farmers, but there is a small
minority which controls half of the coconut lands in the country (Manicad, 1993). The
landed elite put minimal investments in coconut production and copra drying because
they receive income from rental payments and lucrative trading. Furthermore, most of
the coconut farmers have no capital to invest in good coconut varieties and can ill-
afford the long wait for maturation of coconut trees that replanting requires. The small
farmers lack sustained access to credit from formal sources.

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MAJOR PROBLEMS AND ISSUES CONFRONTING THE CURRENT
PROGRAMS

15. There are several issues that confront the current programs in the coconut
industry. These are: (a) top level commitment; (b) financing development; (c)
resource allocation criteria; (d) institutional; (e) implementation; (f) engaging the
civil society; (g) global market access; and (h) agrarian reform and other laws.

Top Level Commitment

16. Coconut as the orphan child has resounding evidence in the lack of
sustained roadmap 6 for the industry. It is also manifested in constant changes in
PCA management, and the severely inadequate funds budget for development.
This malaise contrasts with the resource commitments for the rice industry. The
over-reliance on the resolution of the levy issue as the key fund source, and the
long delays in judicial resolution do not augur well for coconut development in
general and private investments in particular.

17. The constant changes in PCA leadership (as in the DA leadership) do not
augur well for continuity of programs. The lack of political resolve by past
administrations since 1986 has led to lack of a serious development program.
The low budget for the coconut lands relative to its land area and farming
population is difficult to comprehend to outside observers, in part caused by too
much reliance on resolution of the coco levy funds.

Financing Development

18. Shortage of long-term financing for perennial crops remains a major


constraint on the development. The financing of the replanting program for
coconuts is an outstanding example. However, the use of the banks for financing
planting or replanting of perennial crops has been less successful in developing
countries. Given the political difficulties in collecting levies, as well as the
unwillingness of banks to finance perennial crops, the issue appears complex.
There is need to explore various options for the establishment of effective
financing mechanisms for perennial crops (World Bank, 1998).

19. Under MTPDP, the funding for agribusiness targets for the coconut industry
falls short of expectations (see paras. 47-48).

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Roadmap is meant here as a strategic plan where all stakeholders have agreed to be guided
regardless of changes in political leadership. Contrary to some perceptions, it is not a
government mandated (top-down) plan.

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Resource Allocation Criteria

20. Coconut lands comprise the largest expanse of idle and underutilized lands
today. The potential for investment and job creation are high. But rice lands
receive a disproportionately large budget allocation compared to coconut on per
ha or per farmer basis, and this excludes support from the National Food
Authority. There must be a serious resolve to let market forces decide on what
crop to plant and where to plant.

21. A planted hybrid coconut shows good economic returns. On the basis of an
average peak yield of three tons copra per ha during year 9 to 16, the economic
rate of return is 42% (with zero opportunity cost of land). By contrast, that of a
local coconut tall is also good at 27% (peak yield of 1.9 tons copra per ha). The
economic rates of return are comparable to those of oil palm (38%), rubber
(23%) and mango (41%), and all are far higher than the hurdle rate of 15%.
Both assume development costs per ha of US$720 and US$727, respectively at
constant 1998 prices. (World Bank, 1999)

22. The ERR for tall coconuts are lower than for hybrids, but the focus with talls
should be intercropping where soils are suitable (World Bank, 1999). However,
the ERR for coconut replanting is far higher than many irrigation projects (new
and rehabilitation) at 15 to 20% (Author’s estimates). Also, the investment cost
of irrigation is higher at more than US$2,000 per ha. Just for minor restoration
alone, it is about $1,000 per ha and normally needs to be done every 5 to 7
years.

Institutional

23. The PCA has been given the mandate to provide leadership in the
development of the industry. For the past years, industry growth has been
hampered due to low investment. Industry programs are characterized by many
under-funded, short duration projects which could not generate a sustainable
impact. This has demoralized both the farmers and the PCA extension staff. As a
result, there is little or no application of fertilizers or other inputs, and replanting
has been very slow or poorly maintained (World Bank, 1999).

24. The World Bank (1999) found the PCA Research Branch has achieved
important breakthroughs in breeding as well as agronomy and plant protection
but their adoption has been limited by the absence of sustained outreach
programs and unpredictable funding. Emphasis is needed on the management
of the research program to restore its momentum. In order for the coconut
industry to be vibrant, strong leadership is required. Today, PCA has developed
at least ten clones for various agro-climatic conditions but has no resources for
their multiplication.

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Implementation

25. Some sectors felt that program implementation in the industry could benefit
by engaging the stakeholders – the LGU, the private sector, the civil society, and
the academe. According to Efren Villasenor of the Pambansang Kilusan ng
Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan (PKSMMN), a total of 1 million ha need
to be replanted with good site selection, or about Php 50 billion in total. He
indicated that over the past 20 years, 1986-2006, the Government could not
provide adequate support for the industry as many decision makers felt that the
coco levy funds will “arrive.” He felt that replanting must be in suitable areas and
all intercropped in a coconut-based farming system. There is need to
concentrate in Southern Luzon (except Laguna and parts of Batangas) all the
way to the Mindanao. He indicated that seed nuts can be harvested from good
“farm trees”. He believed that contrary to some opinions, it is only in public lands
that can the Nucleus Estate scheme can be implemented. But public land leases
must provide for under a 50 year stewardship, not the current Constitutional
provision of 25 years plus 25 years

26. With respect to LGU participation, many LGUs fail to provide adequate funds
for agriculture development. According to a study, on the average, provincial
governments allocate a mere 3-4% of their budgets to the Office of the Provincial
Agriculturist while the Municipal Agricultural Offices receive no more than 6% of
the municipal budget. Of this, 80-90% of the budget goes to personal services
with only 10-20% for MOOE for the costs of extension work (Quizon et al, 2003).
There are less than 20 provinces out of the 68 that have involvement in
replanting and rehabilitation; most of these are for seed nuts distribution (Carpio,
Personal conversation, June 2006). Moreover, 4th to 6th class LGUs have little
resources for agriculture development. In principle, at least 20% of the IRA
should be channeled for development projects.

Engaging the Civil Society

27. In a Mindanao consultation, majority of the civil society organizations (i.e.


NGOs, POs, producer groups, etc) showed appreciation for the use the levy
funds to address the declining farm productivity. They suggested in a workshop
in Mindanao not only to focus on the replanting and production issues, but, more
importantly, examine the range of others problems such as the slow
implementation of agrarian reform, the potential of downstream and upstream
activities, the need to dismantle the existing monopolies in the sector, and the
abject poverty that is prevalent among the coconut-dependent households
(Mindanao consultation, World Bank, 1999). Productivity measures are indeed
needed for both the highly productive coconut lands and for marginal coconut
lands. Vilasenor (2006) suggested that replanting programs must engage civil
society for better monitoring such as progress payments will only be made to
planters on verifiable live trees every 12 months.

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Global Market Access

28. The campaign of overseas soybean interests has hurt the coconut oil (CNO)
in the US food usage. Labeling requirements of trans-fatty acids in consumer
products and wrong attribution of the negative impact on all saturated fats,
including medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil have affected the industry.
These non-tariff barriers will not abate as lowering of tariff barriers makes many
countries impose technical barriers to trade. The industry stakeholders need to
address these in concert.

Laws: CARP and Coconut Cutting Law

29. The advent of CARP in 1988 has discouraged private investments following
its provisions on retention limits, eligibility as well as transferability. Villasenor
(2006) claimed that small farmers receive land but remain mired in poverty due to
the loss of traditional support system such as credit. He strongly suggests
sparing coconut lands from further agrarian reform.

30. The Coconut Cutting Law (RA 8048) is a dated law and may have to be
repealed.

Box 2. VOICES FROM THE STAKEHOLDERS

“The single most important constraint is supply. Frequent changes in PCA


leadership has also badly hurt industry directions” - A key industry player

“Intercropping for commercial sales and for family food nutrition is neglected. And
yet, the technologies are available” - A farmer who lost his land to agrarian reform

“Coconut development must be always premised on intercropping” – A farmer leader

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SPECIFIC GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMS and THEIR EFFECTS
ON THE SECTOR

31. There are general and specific policies that have affected the industry.
These policies have influenced industry performance over the decades.

Table 4. Policies Affecting the Coconut Industry


Policy (a) Coverage
General:
Food self-sufficiency Rice
General Banking Act of 1949 (b) All commodities
CARP All agri lands
AFMA All agri commodities
Specific
Coconut levy
Coconut Cutting Law
(a) In chronological order
(b) The short grace period (maximum of three years) on loans was amended
by AFMA in 1997 but went into effect in November 1999 under a BSP
Memorandum Circular

General

32. Government policies are generally biased against tree crops in general,
and coconut in particular. Tree crops particularly coconuts are often known as
the “forgotten child” of agriculture. First, public sector investments have focused
on irrigated rice. This is a result of the decades-old drive for rice self-sufficiency.
For example, the AFMA provides that 30% of the budget goes to irrigation.
Second, slow implementation of CARP has contributed to investor uncertainties,
and militated against investment in long-gestating tree crops. Third, limited
grace period for tree crops 7 and the high real interest rates resulting partly from
Government macro policies had made investment in long gestating crops
unattractive (World Bank, 1999).

33. Food Sufficiency. The bias for irrigated rice is shown by the
disproportionate amount of resources going to rice programs. While rice lands
(2.5 million ha) are smaller than coconut lands (3.3 million ha), the former
receives about Php 4 billion to 5 billion a year for irrigation, R & D, seed subsidy
and other support., and not counting the NFA subsidies. By contrast, since 2000
(after the end of the World Bank-financed Coconut Farms Development Project),
the Philippine Coconut Authority gets Php 41 million a year in maintenance,
operating and other expenses (MOOE) and no capital expenses (PCA, 2006).

7
Maximum of three years under the General Banking Act until it was amended by AFMA in
1997)

13
34. The long-term bias for rice self-sufficiency and, therefore, for irrigation
projects have inadvertently led to the neglect of coconut development as an
instrument of poverty reduction. While the Government is willing to fund irrigation
projects to the tune of Php100,000 to 400,000 per ha, and the subsequent
operations and maintenance (O&M) subsidy for national systems, support for
coconut has been far less (World Bank, 1999). Today, rehabilitation of national
systems requires at least Php150,000 per ha. By contrast, coconut replanting
would only require Php 50,000 per ha. This means that three coconut rice
farmers can be benefited for every irrigated rice farmer! Coconut farms have
significant potential for intercropping with a variety of crops, which can sustain
farm incomes while waiting for newly planted trees mature (World Bank, 1998).

35. General Banking Act. This Act of 1949 provided that the maximum grace
period on loans would be three years. While this was perhaps appropriate for
industrial projects and agriculture production loans, the Law hampered lending
for long gestating crops such as coconut and rubber. The specific provision was
amended by AFMA in 1997 but took effect in late 1999. Nevertheless, the long
tradition of bias, the advent of CARP as well as other factors have not increased
the flow of long-term funds.

36. CARP. The advent of CARP (Republic Act 6657 of 1988) discouraged farm
investments. The stringent provisions of eligibility and transferability have
distorted the rural land markets and drove away investors. There had been no
replanting or intercropping in most commercial estates since 1988. In the case of
coconut, there had been cutting of coconut trees by landowner as lumber. The
uncertainties created by land acquisition and transferability provisions of the law
caused decline of private investors. DAR records showed that as of mid-1998,
some 562,000 ha of coconut lands had been acquired or 20% of the total of 2.76
million ha (Word Bank, 1999). As of December 31, 2005, DAR acquired 3.69
million ha, compared to the working scope of 4.37 million ha, leaving a balance of
630,280 ha. As there no readily available time series data on land acquisition by
crop, it is estimated that another 190,000 ha of coconut farms could have been
acquired over the past 8 years. 8 Altogether, some 752,000 ha of land were
acquired since 1988. By June 2006, about 190,000 ha may have yet to be
acquired. 9

37. Coconut as compared to rice has several attributes: (a) it takes 3 to 6 years
for coconut to be harvested (depending on whether it is hybrid tall) while it takes
only 4 months for rice; (b) farm administrators take the place of land owners; and
(c) many coconut farms have permanent workers who may not be as
entrepreneurial as rice farmers. When land is distributed to farm workers, they
face a more difficult and longer adjustment than a rice tenant/lessee who have a
wider view of farm management.

8
This is estimated at 20% of the total land acquired between 1998 and 2006 of 930,000 ha.
9
This is derived at 30% of the remaining balance based on preliminary (incomplete) estimates by
DAR.

14
38. AFMA. Government policies for agriculture and fisheries, in general, are
enshrined in AFMA since 1997. It called for a modernization agriculture and
fisheries: “the process of transforming the …sectors into one that is dynamic,
technologically advanced and competitive yet centered on human
development, guided by sound practices of sustainability and the principles of
social justice” (Republic Act 8435) (underscoring by the author).

39. AFMA has seven principles: (a) poverty alleviation and social equity; (b)
food security; (c) rationale use of resources; (d) global competitiveness; (e)
sustainable development; (f) people empowerment; and (g) protection from unfair
competition. Among its objectives are to: (a) modernize the agriculture and
fisheries by transforming these sectors to a technology-based industry; (b)
enhance profits and incomes… particularly the small farmers and fisher folk…;
(c) ensure the accessibility, availability and stable supply of food…; (d) promote
people empowerment by strengthening people’s organization, cooperatives, and
NGOs; and (e) pursue a market-driven approach to enhance comparative
advantage of agriculture and fishery products in the world market (AFMA IRR,
1998).

40. There is, however, a wide chasm between policies and practice. The AFMA
budget between 1999 and 2004 has declined in real terms in contrast to a large
increment (Php 15 to 20 billion each year) for agriculture and fisheries under the
law on top of the budget of the Department of Agriculture. 10 The funding
constraint is severely exacerbated in the case of coconut where support is
miniscule relative to the needs.

Specific

41. Coconut Levy Fund. The levy fund has a long history (Annex 4). The
levy is a potentially rich resource for the development of the coconut industry.
The current market value of the assets could be in the order of Php100 billion for
San Miguel shares as well as Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) mills,
United Coconut chemicals, and other companies (Romero, Jr. and Villasenor,
June 2006). However, the age old reliance on the “recovery” of the levy as
means to develop the industry has boomeranged. Little funds were allocated by
the Government on replanting since 1986. Even the World Bank-financed CFDP
is modest relative to the overall replantable area of about one million ha (Box 3).
Under the project, the replanting target was modest at 5,000 ha per year, given
one million ha senile areas. Even at a target of 20,000 ha a year, it would take
25 years to replant 500,000 ha.

10
The budget for Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (AFMP) were: Php – billion in
1999, Php – billion in 2000, Php – billion in 2001, Php – billion in 2002, Php – billion in
2003,and Php – billion in 2004.

15
42. Coconut Cutting Law. The government log ban of the 1990s led to a
dramatic increase in lumber prices. As a result, demand for coco lumber
increased. RA 8048 was passed in 1995 following lobbying of processors and
other interest groups. The provides penalties for illegal cutting of coconut trees
ranging from fines of P50,000.00 to P500,000.00 and imprisonment from one (1)
to six (6) years. The law is well-meaning but it adds another bureaucratic hurdle
and is actually an infringement to the right to private property.

Programs.

43. There are a number of programs that affect the industry. They may be
categorized into two: industry specific programs, and sector-wide programs but
with large impact to the industry. The first category includes the Coconut Farms
Development Project, GMA coconut program, and LGU programs. The second
category is the MTPDP Agribusiness Lands. The performance of the programs is
at best mixed.

Table 5. Specific Programs in the Coconut Industry


Program/project Coverage Period Agency
Coconut Farms Replanting 1991-1999 PCA
Development Project Rehabilitation
(World Bank) Intercropping
Coconut ARCs No data Ongoing DAR
GMA Coconut Replanting PCA
Intercropping
Replanting (LGU) Seed nut distribution Ongoing LGUs
MTPDP- Agribusiness Replanting and 2004-2010 DA and
lands intercropping of 1.35 PCA
million ha

44. Coconut Farms Development Project (CFDP). During 1990s, the main
program of significance was the World Bank-supported CFD, implemented in
1991-1999 (Box 3). The project was original for 1991-1995 but was extended
due to implementation delays.

16
Box 3. COCONUT DEVELOPMENT: A BRIEF

The World Bank-supported Coconut Farms Development Project had the following justifications:

• World market prospects for copra products, especially coconut oil, appear promising, if only because most
producer countries have failed to achieve their goals of increasing output;
• A sound technical basis exists for increasing production through both rehabilitation of existing “talls” and
planting of hybrids;
• Much of the institutional framework is already in place for managing a large scale coconut farms
development program; and
• Domestic demand is increasing at three percent per annum due to population increase.

The project was implemented in 1991-1999. It was envisioned as a five year time slice program but got extended
by another four years due to funding and implementation constraints. Some 23,864 ha were replanted compared
to the 25,000 ha target. On the other hand, the rehabilitation component, achieved 409,806 ha fertilized in 9
years. compared to 360,000 ha targeted over 5 years. In effect, in annual terms, replanting was 47% below target
while rehabilitation was 37% below target.

The Government commitment was to provide P450 million a year from AFMA funds for replanting and rehab in
the absence of the resolution of the coco levy issue. In reality only P41 million a year in MOOE was provided to
fund 12 regions and four research centers (Carlos Carpio, Personal Conversation, June 2006). As a result,
validated figures for 2000 to 2001 show that only 4.383 ha and 3,318 ha , respectively were replanted; and
13.533 ha and 14.170 ha , respectively were rehabilitated.

The years 1992-1998 saw a long period of coco levy advocacy. There was a plan for five seed gardens (1
Government and 4 private sector) of 250 ha each that will provide seeds nut for 62,500 ha a year. There were no
takers from the private sector as according to one source, there were not sure if PCA had the funds to pay for the
seed nuts.

In 1998-2000, PCA envisioned 64 model intercropped farms in 64 provinces that will increase average income to
P100,000 per ha from P10,000 per ha. The plan did not bring full fruition due to implementation constraints. Also,
the project area selection was reportedly tainted by political considerations. Beside, there were no benchmarks
and market studies on crop selection.

Today, only the Aroman seed farm in North Cotabato can be relied upon for seed nuts for replanting. Aroman
can produce about 720,000 nuts a year, or about 5,300 ha per year. For all centers, only 2 million seed nuts can
be produced good for only about 15,000 ha per year

CFDP Lessons. There are many lesson learned from the CFDP which should be taken into account, including:
the importance of developing sustainable approaches to replanting and rehabilitating (fertilizing) coconuts;
sustainable provision of extension services (and collaboration with LGUs) which supports a farming systems
approach and the LGUs/private sector roles; serious GOP budgetary constraints which make it difficult to rely on
substantial public sector funding, and hence the need to intensify actions which will trigger a more active private
sector response. It will be important for GOP to develop a sound long-term coconut strategy, which also redefines
the future role and structure of PCA (World Bank, 1999).

Source:

World Bank. Coconut Farms Development Project. Staff Appraisal Report. 1989.
World Bank. Tree Crops for Rural Development, 1999.
Interviews with key resource persons, 2006.

17
45. DAR-ARCs. Under DAR, the agrarian reform communities (ARCs) program,
there are 645 coconut –based ARCS with some 350,000 beneficiaries (about
700,000 ha). 11 Coconut-based ARCs account for nearly 40% of all ARCS
(1,633) (DAR, 2006). The author has no basis to judge this program.

46. The GMA Coconut program which took off from the Maunlad na Niyugan
Tugon sa Kahirapan Program which was launched under EO 210 of February
2000. The Maunlad Program sought to improve coconut productivity and
increase the annual income of coconut farmers from P10,000 to P100.000 per
hectare through an efficient integrated coconut-based farming system. It shall
also seek to increase coconut production through conservation, replanting and
rehabilitation of the palm population.

47. The Maunlad program included the following components: (a)


Establishment of Model Coconut farms. A model coconut farm shall be
contiguous cluster of small coconut farms with an aggregate are of 15 to 20
hectares, fully intercropped with cash and commercial crops, provided with
livestock, poultry and small ruminants, and equipped with water supply,
production and processing facilities; (b) Coconut Replanting and Establishment
of Local Nurseries. A coconut replanting program shall be implemented to regain
lost hectarage due to the rampant cutting of coconut trees; and (c) Provision of
Agricultural Infrastructure by the DA, DPWH, DOE, DOTC, DILG and the LGUs in
their respective plans and programs to include irrigation, farm-to-market roads,
post harvest facilities, energy infrastructure, communication systems and other
agricultural infrastructure to accelerate agricultural and fishery production,
processing and marketing in coconut areas, particularly in model coconut farms.
The Program shall also had the following components farmer development and
socio-institutional services, livestock, poultry and aquaculture dispersal; credit
and marketing assistance, research and development, extension and information
services; institutional networking and linkaging; planning and project
development; and monitoring and evaluation.

48. This program has not lived up to its targets. The coconut program was
supposed to be funded under the High Value Crops Commercial Program
(HVCC) but it received none. PCA had a budget of Php 424 M in 2005, of which
Php 313 M were for PS, Php 70 M for other expenses; and Php 41 for MOOE.

49. The Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), 2004-2010,


Agribusiness Chapter envisions the development of two million ha of
agribusiness lands in order to create two million jobs. Of these, 1.35 million
ha will be in coconut lands: about 80% for replanting 1.08 million ha and 270,000
ha for intercropping. This would mean, replanting of about 180,000 ha per year
which would require some 24 million seeds nuts a year. Since the supply from
seed farms is only 2 million, there is a shortage of about 22 million a year.

11
Assuming an average of two ha per beneficiary, the total coconut areas would be about
700,000 ha.

18
Selected farm seed nuts can give about 12 million a year and that leaves a
shortage of 10 million a year, or nearly 75,000 ha a year for replanting.

50. The budget required for 14 million seed nuts will be about Php70 million a
year. On the other hand, fertilizer for 100,000 ha per year (at 6 bags per ha ) will
need about P480 million, or some P550 million a year. Compare this with the
PCA MOOE of P41 million a year. Given the mismatch of MTPDP coconut
targets and resources, the agribusiness targets must be revisited.

Benchmarking Industry Programs

51. Comparing the policies and programs of the coconut industry with those of
Malaysian oil palm in the last 30 years showed marked differences. The former
was characterized by lack of sustained directions and funding. In contrast, the
latter was characterized by a corporate approach to problem solving: top level
commitment, regular funds flow, and leveraging domestic funds with official
development aid such as the World Bank.

Table 6. Benchmarking Supply Chains


Item Philippine Coconut Malaysia Palm Oil
A. Chain attributes
Cost High cost due to low yield, old Low due to high yield,
mills, inefficient logistics, and efficient logistics, new
subsistence farming mills, and centralized or
estate management
Quality Poor copra quality Good quality due to short
time lag between harvest
and processing
Supply reliability Poor reliability due to slow Good reliability -
growth and variable supply sustained growth
Product innovation Good list for main and by Good list
products
B. Functional areas
Marketing Global market reach Global market reach
Commodity futures
exchange in Malaysia
Good government-private
sector cooperation
Production Stagnant or slow growth Moderate to rapid growth
Finance No long-term financing Available long term
for replanting financing programs
R&D Under funded R &D Good R&D under Palm
Oil Research Institute
(PORIM) and private
estates

19
Producer Unorganized small Well-organized private
Organizations holders estates
Good government land
Fractious stakeholders agencies
Management assistance
to small holders
Development Constant changes in Generally effective
Agencies leadership in both PCA and government land
DA have weakened these agencies
agencies
Weak support at the top Strong support at the top
Source: Various Sources; Author’s experience

Impact of Government Policies and Programs (DA and LGU) on the Sector
and Alignment with AFMA Goals

52. The “low intensity” approach to solving the problems of the coconut industry
meant lost opportunities in the areas of poverty alleviation, global
competitiveness and sustainable development in the last two decades. It is a sad
commentary of what development management is not. Coconut provinces
continue to be equated with high poverty and, in many cases, insurgency. Vast
areas of lands generate low returns. The coconut industry is not globally
competitive due to failure to put in place competitive strategies and actions.
Agriculture is under threat as many coconut regions are unable to provide good
incomes. In the process, out-migration becomes the option for the rural poor.

20
Figure 1. IMPACT OF LIMITED INVESTMENTS IN THE COCONUT
INDUSTRY

NO DETERIORATING LOW SLOW GROWTH


MAINTENANCE CAPITAL STOCK PRODUCTIVITY RM SUPPLY
(TREES) (3M HA) AGRO-INDUSTRIES

LOW
JOB GROWTH FOREGONE
OPPORTUNITIES

LOW
INCOME

LOW LOW HIGH


INVESTMENT SAVINGS POVERTY

UNDERUTILIZED LOW
LAND UNDER JOB GROWTH
TREES (2M HA)

FOREGONE
OPPORTUNITIES

AFMA Goal: Poverty Alleviation and Social Equity

53. Returns to coconut lands has been dismally low as productivity stagnated.
.Farm yields during 1998 to 2004 practically stagnated at about 750 kg copra per
ha, except in 1999 when it fell to 420 kg/ha due to the effects of El Nino. Copra
prices were on the uptrend which provided some extra relief. Nevertheless, at
its peak in 2004, the gross return per ha was barely only Php16,000, or P32,000
per farm.

54. Poverty abounds in the 3.3 million ha of coconut areas. Based on the
Human Development Report, regions with disproportionately coconut areas tend
to have high poverty incidence. This is certainly the case for Bicol with 40.5% of
families in 2003, Eastern Visayas (35.5%), Zamboanga Peninsula (44.1%) and
Caraga (47.3%) and ARMM (45.7%) This is even more evident at provincial
levels. As there had been little changes in coconut farm productivity through yield
and/or intercrops, success in poverty reduction appears limited, except in areas

21
where there are alternative employment opportunities like Davao City and
Laguna (Annex 5).

55. The slow growth in production has affected raw material supply to agri-
based industries such as coconut oil milling and activated carbon. In turn, this
affected investments and job creation.

AFMA Goal - Global Competitiveness

56. Global competitiveness is defined as the ability of a product to sustainably


compete with exports in the global market or with imports in the local market. As
most coconut products, are exported, the premier measure is cost
competitiveness. Shown below is a comparative costs and returns of CNO and
Malaysian CPO. While CNO has higher price than CPO, its return to revenues
is much lower due to low farm productivity.

Table 7. Comparative Analysis of Farm Profitability: An Illustration


Professional Estimates, Per Hectare
Philippine Malaysian Oil
Item Coconut Palm
Smallholder Small holder
Average farm yield 750 20,000
(kg/ha) copra fruit bunches
Farm price (US$/ton) 230 58
Gross revenues (US$) 172 1160
Less. Materials costs Nil 420
Gross returns 172 740
Imputed labor costs 120 (a) 300(b)
Net income after labor and materials 52 440
Land costs (c) 47 116
Net returns per ha after land costs (US$) 5 324
Memo items:
Gross return per labor-day net of land costs ($) 3 12.28
Net as % of gross farm revenue 3 28
(a) 40 person days at $3/day
(b) 50 person days at $6/day
(c) Philippines: 25% of gross revenues; Malaysia: 10%
Source: Author’s estimates

57. A sound strategy for competitiveness is coconut-based farming system


comprising two elements: replanting with good clones; and market-based
intercropping with other crops and/or livestock. Marginal lands with senile trees,
if not suitable for intercrops because of distance from market and other
constraints must be shifted to other use such as timber or fruit trees.

22
AFMA Goal: Sustainable Development

58. Sustainable development has three aspects: economic, social and


environmental (UNIDO, 2002). On the first aspect, the low financial and
economic returns to coconut farming and its concomitant high poverty have
fuelled insurgency and urban migration. On the social aspect, the CARP has
caused land redistribution but poverty continues due to lack of investments and
weak program support. On the environmental aspect, coconut has provided
“forest cover” to some 10% of the total land mass, but its plantings in the hilly and
steep areas may not be the best use of land. Perhaps, timber species and fruit
trees would be best in hilly areas. Altogether, coconut antiquated, low-input
farming technology may not be sustainable.

AFMA Goal: Rational Use of Resources

59. The coconut industry has specially suffered from the specific provision of
AFMA on budget allocation, i.e. 30% of AFMA budget will fund irrigation. In this
country, irrigation is meant almost always equated to rice irrigation. While
irrigation gets Php 4 to 5 billion a year in capital spending, coconut has a measly
Php 41 million in MOOE.

AFMA Goal: People Empowerment

60. AFMA provides that the State shall promote people empowerment by
enabling citizens….. to participate in policy formulation and decision-making..
(Section 2). Based on discussions with selected stakeholders, it appears that
plans and programs for the coconut industry were top-down in orientation. As a
result, farmers have no sense of ownership of the government-mandated
programs.

CONCRETE POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

61. The coconut industry is a study in contrast. The coconut farmers form
among the largest stakeholders in Philippine agriculture but among the most
impoverished. Land diversification potential is among the highest but derives
among the least support from the government. If the Government desires a high
growth in agriculture and job creation in the MTPDP, it has to look at the coconut
lands as a major vehicle.

62. Considering the performance, problems and issues facing the industry,
the following recommendations are in order.

23
Table 8. Recommendations for the Coconut Industry
Action
ISSUES RECOMMENDATION Program Agency

Lack of top level Craft a stakeholder- ST Stakeholders,


commitment; lack driven industry DA, PCA
sustained industry roadmap
directions
Financing development Formulate funding MT Stakeholders
scheme for perennial OP
crops DOJ
Resolve the levy issue
Resource allocation Allocate budget based MT DA, NEDA
Bias for food self on social returns, area DBM,
sufficiency in budgets and number of farms Congress
Institutional Advocate for MT DA, DBM,
professional CSC
bureaucracy Stakeholders
Limited LGU Push for partnerships ST PCA, DA,
engagements and cost sharing LGUs
Limited engagement of Engage the civil ST Civil Society,
civil society in program society PCA
design, implementation
and monitoring
Lack of private End CARP land MT DAR
investments distribution and
acquisition in 2008
Note: ST – short term; MT – medium term

63. The key recommendations are: (a) a stakeholder, market-driven roadmap;


(b) budget allocation based on social (economic) returns and other rational
criteria; (c) engaging the civil society in program design, implementation and
monitoring. A quick resolution of the levy issue, its judicious fund management,
and its cost-effective and transparent utilization will be a plus factor.

CONCLUSIONS

63. The coconut industry comprises the largest farm area (3.3 M ha) and 1.4 M
farms in Philippine agriculture. It hosts some 3.4 M farmers and workers
(Faustino, 2006). Coconut products generate the largest agri-food export. It has
performed dismally due to several reasons foremost of which are: lack of top
level resolve, inequitable resource allocation, and implementation constraints.
As a result, low productivity prevails and, in turn, high poverty and insurgency.

24
64. The industry has good potentials for growth from both production expansion
and market-led product diversification. Coconut lands also have tremendous
scope for farm diversification. These potentials can be realized by: (a) a
stakeholder, market-driven roadmap; (b) budget allocation based on social
(economic) returns; (c) engaging the civil society in program design,
implementation and monitoring. A quick resolution of the levy issue, its judicious
fund management, and cost-effective and transparent utilization will definitely be
a key factor. The potential interest earnings from the invested levy fund will be
adequate for replanting and rehabilitation of the industry.

25
REFERENCES

Aragon, Corazon. 2000. Coconut Program Area Research Planning and


Prioritization. Discussion Paper 2000-31. Philippine Institute for
Development Studies. Socio Economic Research Portal for the Philippines.
Agustin, Yvonne T.V. 2005. Global Competitiveness, Benchmarking and Best
Practices for the Coconut Industry. Lecture materials for the Food
Systems Management (FSM) on Major Crops and Processed Products.
University of Asia and the Pacific. March 31, 2005.
Asia and Pacific Coconut Community. 2006. Coconut IPM Project. Home Page.
www.apccsec.org/message.html
Carpio, Carlos B., Erlene C. Manohar and Nina Marie Kindipan. 2005. The
Coconut Industry: Input Supply and Logistics for Coconut Production. Lecture
materials for the Food Systems Management (FSM) on Major Crops and
Processed Products. University of Asia and the Pacific. March 14, 2005.
Dy, Rolando. 1988. Land Use Diversification in the Coconut Industry. Paper
presented at the Technical Consultative Meeting on the Coconut Industry.
February 19-20, 1988 at the Philippine Coconut Authority.
Faustino, Joey. 2006. Facing the Challenges of the Philippine Coconut Industry:
The Lifeblood of 3.4 million Coconut Farmers and Workers. Draft EPRA
Paper.
Food and Agriculture Organization, Coconut - Tree of Life.
www.fao.org//docrep/005/y3612e/y3612e03.htm
Intal, Ponciano Jr. S. 1988. Some Notes on Price Stabilization in the Coconut
Industry. Paper presented at the Technical Consultative Meeting on the
Coconut Industry. February 19-20, 1988 at the Philippine Coconut Authority.
Habito Cielito F. 1988. The Coconut Industry in the Overall Economic Policy
Environment. Paper presented at the Technical Consultative Meeting on
the Coconut Industry. February 19-20, 1988 at the Philippine Coconut
Authority.
Magat, Severino S. and Carlos B. Carpio. 1997. An Updated Guide on the
Coconut Growing Zones and Productivity Suitability of the 14 Coconut
Growing Regions and 67 Provinces in the Philippines. Philippine Coconut
Authority.
Romero, Jose Jr. V. 2005. Transforming the Coconut Industry: Institutional
and Policy Reforms Toward Shared Development. Unpublished Ph. D.
Dissertation in Political Economy. University of Asia and the Pacific.
Villegas, Bernardo and Enrique Esteban. 1980. A Broad Policy Paper on the
Philippines Coconut Industry. Submitted to the Philippines Coconut Research
and Development Foundation. Center for Research and Communication.
October 15, 1980.
World Bank. 1987. Philippines Agricultural Sector Strategy Review. Volume
I. Report No. 6819-PH June 25, 1987.
World Bank. Philippines Promoting Equitable Rural Growth. Report No.
17979. May 29, 1998

26
World Bank. 1999. Philippines Tree Crops for Rural Development: Issues
and Strategy. Volumes I and II. Report No. 19281-PH. June 22, 1999.
USAID/Growth with Equity in Mindanao. 1996. Utilization of the Coconut Levy
Fund for Mindanao.

PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS

Carpio, Carlos. Deputy Administrator. Philippine Coconut Authority. June 7,


2006.
Garcia, Claro. Former Coconut Farm Entrepreneur. Surigao City. May 17, 2006
Luy, Ernesto. President, International Copra Export Corporation, and Interco
Manufacturing Corporation. May 29, 2006.
Torralba, Oscar. Chair. Agribusiness Committee, Management Association of
the Philippines. July 2006.
Villasenor, Efren. Pambansang Katipunan ng Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa
Niyugan. June 7, 2006

27
ANNEX 1

COCONUT PRODUCT MAP

Primary Value adding Byproducts Value adding


NUT Desiccated coconut Coconut shell Shell charcoal
Coconut milk & powder Activated carbon
Buko juice
Virgin coconut oil
Delicacies
Husks Coco Coir
Coir dust (mulch)
Geo-textiles
COPRA

Coconut Oil Cochin oil Copra meal Animal feeds


RBD oil (a)

Intermediate oleo-
chemicals (fatty acids, fatty
alcohol, glycerine)

Biodiesel
(a) Refined, bleached, deodorized

Coconut Value Chain: An Illustration


140,000
115,000
120,000
Price per ton (Php)

100,000

80,000
55,700 55,800
60,000

40,000 30,700
15,000
20,000
3,600
-
NUTS COPRA CRUDE DESICCATED FATTY VIRGIN
COCONUT COCONUT ALCOHOL COCONUT
OIL OIL

28
Agro-industrial Cluster

The coconut agro-industrial cluster is fairly complex compared to other Philippine


agriculture products. Coconut has diverse products (nut, copra, oil, and
desiccated nut) and byproducts (meal, activated carbon, coir, geo-textiles, etc.).
The Figure shows the core industries as well as the related industries and
services, and supporting institutions. The core industries are those using
products and byproducts in the supply chain. The supplier industries are those
that provide goods and services (the “hardware”) for the “physical” transformation
and movement of products. In contrast, the supporting institutions provide the
“software” of the supply chain.

29
ANNEX 1
AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CLUSTER
Supplier Industries
Secondary /Tertiary Processing
Inputs Primary Processing • Processing Technology
• Planting materials • Drying Technology • Processing Equipment & Supplies
Economic Foundation • Fertilizer/Chemicals • Packaging & processing Materials • Packaging Materials
• Production Technology • Utilities • Utilities
Natural Capital • Warehouse/Storage
• Land
• Water
• Climate Harvesting
• Location

Physical Capital
• Transport
• Communication Core Industry
• Energy Meat
Virgin Coconut Oil
Technology and R&D capability CNO
Oleochemical Plant
• Indigenous
Copra
• Introduced
Refinery
Human Capital Coconut Oil Mill
• Quality Biodiesel Plant World
Meat Meal Market
• Quantity
• Availability Desiccated Coconut Plant

Financial Capital
• Financing FARM Shell Activated Carbon Plant
• Credit PRODUCTION
(NUTS)
Social Capital Shell Charcoal Plant
• Cultural
• Political
• Land Tenure Husk Decorticating Plant Geo-textiles
Domestic
• Policy Regime
Market
Coir Dust

Other products and wastes processing and utilization

Finance R&D Education and Training Machinery Repair & Maintenance Industry/Trade Associations Marketing and Distribution
• Private Banks Other critical business support • UCAP
• Rural Banks • Private Sector • TESDA • Private Sector
• UCPB-CIIF • PCA • ATI • Philexport • DPWH
• Private Sector • LGU
• Quedancor • PCRDF • SCUs • VCOPTA
• PPA
• LGUs/NGOs
• Cooperative • DOST • DA (Quarantine, ATI) • PHILCOIR • DTI
• Landbank • DA • DOST • COCOFED
• Informal • SCUs Related and Allied Industries and Services • Others

Source: CFA, UA&P


Framework Adapted from the World Bank/MADECOR Model on the Study of Restructuring Agro-Industries in Indonesia (2001).
30
ANNEX 2

Vegetable Oils: The Global Situationer

Global Trade. There are 17 vegetable oils and fats traded in the world market totaling
about 40 million tons a year. The major vegetable oils are palm oil and soybean oil.
Coconut oil accounts for less than 5% of the traded supply (Agustin, 2005). World per
capita consumption of oils and fats average 16.5 kilograms (kg). Those of developing
countries such as China, India and Indonesia average below 15 kg. The Philippines
consumes even lower at 7 kg. Income growth in developing countries is expected to
increase, and, thus, demand for oils and fats (Carpio et al, 2005).

World Players. Indonesia, the Philippines, and India are the world’s top producers of
coconut accounting for about 70% of total production of about 11 million tons in copra
terms. Indonesia contributed 3.3 million tons (30%), the Philippines 2.8 million tons
(25%) and India 1.8 million tons (16%). Compared to Indonesia and India, Philippine nut
yield is 28% and 14% lower, respectively, although figures showed good yield growth
for the Philippines over 20 years which could be misleading given the drought-affected
low base of 1985. By contrast, area harvested for the Philippines practically stagnated
while those of Indonesia (+ 35%) and India (+52%) expanded.

1985 1990 1995 2000 2005


Yield (ton/ha)
Philippines 2.63 3.53 3.98 4.17 4.39
Indonesia 5.06 5.36 5.54 5.88 6.10
India 4.10 4.90 5.25 5.18 5.11
Area (M ha)
Philippines 3.27 3.11 3.06 3.12 3.30
Indonesia 1.98 2.26 2.58 2.59 2.67
India 1.22 1.48 1.83 1.82 1.86
Prod’n (M ton nut)
Philippines 8.60 11.02 12.18 12.99 14.50
Indonesia 10.00 12.12 14.32 15.24 16.30
India 5.03 7.23 9.62 9.42 9.50
Source: FAOSTAT

The world trade of CNO totals about 2 million tons of oil export a year. The Philippines
supplies some the largest 60% (Carpio et al, 2005).

Benchmarking. Coconut oil (CNO) and palm kernel oil (PKO) belong to the lauric
segment of vegetable oil. Laurics have unique qualities. Comparing export performance
with competitors, the Philippines lagged behind Indonesia and Malaysia. Between 1985-
2005, Philippine CNO export barely grew from an average of 897,000 tons a year during
1985-90 to 1,109,000 tons during 2000-2004. In contrast, Indonesian CNO export rose
from 143,000 tons a year to 478,000 tons a year. On the other hand, Indonesian PKO
export rose from an annual average if 97,000 tons a year during 1985-89 to 693,000
tons during 2000-2004. Those of Malaysian PKO rose from 532,000 tons and 700,000
tons a year, respectively (FAOSTAT).

31
ANNEX 3

SUPPLY CHAIN COMPETITIVENESS ISSUES AND IMPACT

Impact on
Item Issues competitiveness
Input Supply Poor genetics of most trees Negative
Logistics High transport cost of inputs due to poor Negative
transport infra
Farm Low yield (~40 nuts/tree) Negative: high production
cost, supply reliability
Limited replanting with good clones
Logistics High assembly costs due to dispersed, Negative
fragmented and unorganized small
holdings
High transport costs due to poor Negative
marketing infrastructure
Processing Over-capacity of processing plants Negative on cost and
supply reliability
Obsolete copra crushing plants(?) Negative. No funds for
rehabilitation due to low
capacity utilization
High cost of raw materials Negative
Marketing Marketing system is fairly in place Positive
Global Market
Access
Coconut oil Health concerns raised by the US Negative
soybean interests in 1980s
USFDA labeling regulation on January Negative
1, 2006 re trans fatty acids (TFA).
New clause under FOSPA Contract No. Negative
54, penalizes sellers 0.1% of the
contract price for each ppb of B(a)P
above the 50 ppb threshold
Discriminatory Tariffs. Negative
-China 10% for Phil. vs. 5% for
Indonesia; High tariffs in India 42%
VCO Some producers may not adhere to Negative
standards
Supports:
Financing Lack of budget for replanting and Negative
rehabilitation

Organization Dispersed small holdings Negative


Unorganized
Sources: Various

32
ANNEX 4
EVOLUTION OF THE COCONUT LEVY

A number of laws have been enacted since 1971 to institute various levies on the coconut
industry. Notable among the various funds that have been imposed on the industry are: the
coconut investment fund, the coconut consumer stabilization fund, the coconut industry
development fund, the coconut industry stabilization fund and the coconut reserve fund.

The Coconut Investment Fund (CIF)

Republic Act (RA 6260) of June 1971 otherwise known as the Coconut Investment Act paved
the way to the introduction of the first levy. The act warranted the collection of a levy from
coconut farmers the amount of P0.55 on the first domestic sale of every one hundred kilograms of
copra. Of the P0.55, fifty centavos (P0.50) shall constitute a special fund, dubbed as the Coconut
Investment Fund (CIF), for the target capitalization of P100 million of the Coconut Investment
Company (CIC), which the Act also established. CIC shall advance the development of the
coconut industry through “ the provision of medium and long-term financing for capital
investments in the coconut industry.” One-tenth of the earnings of the Fund each year shall be
used to “finance technical and economic research studies, promotional programs, scholarship
grants and industrial manpower development program for the coconut industry. “ The remaining
five centavos (P0.05) shall be used as follows: (a) P0.03 shall be used exclusively for
administering the fund, organizing coconut conventions including a national congress and
undertaking information campaigns; and (b) P0.02 “shall be placed at the disposition of the
recognized national association of coconut producers which shall be responsible for continuing
liaison with the different sectors of the industries, the government and its own mass base.”
The levy shall be imposed until the P100 million capitalization has been reached but the
collection period shall not exceed 10 years. Upon full payment of the required capitalization, the
receipts issued to coconut farmers in connection with the payments of the levies shall be
transferred to them through the conversion of the receipts into shares of stock of the Company.

The Coconut Consumer Stabilization Fund (CCSF)

On August 20, 1973, Presidential Decree No. 276 established a Coconut Consumers
Stabilization Fund (CCSF) in order to address the cooking oil crisis * 1 that Characterized the year.
The PD called for the collection of P15/c.k. copra levy from coconut farmers for a period of one
year or earlier until it is deemed that the crisis is solved. The object was to generate funds to “
subsidize the sale of coconut-based products at prices set by the Philippine Price Control
Council.” The funds are to be administered by a coconut Consumer Stabilization Committee and
shall be treated as a separate trust fund, which shall not form part of the general fund of the
government.
The PD was meant to implement LOI No. 116 issued on August 16, 1973 to address the
crisis. It instructed the Secretaries of National Defense, Agriculture and Natural Resources and of
Trade and the PHLCOA Administrator to explore all possible solutions including “ a military
takeover of 20 percent of all coconut oil and copra in the Philippines.” Thus, a meeting was called

*
In 1973, there were shortages of oilseeds and oils as well as major agricultural products in the world market as a result of floods, drought and
other major calamities, which hit the major agricultural areas of the world. Consequently, commodity prices spiraled. The country was not spared and
eventually, the prices of basic commodities, specially, rice, sugar and cooking oil, rose sharply prompting the government to intervene. The Price
Control Council established ceiling prices for prime commodities including other coconut-based products such as laundry soap, filled milk and copra
meal. The ceiling price for cooking oil was computed on the basis of the prevailing price for copra at the time. Unfortunately, copra prices continued
increasing. Manufacturers of cooking oil and other coconut-based products were therefore faced with the problem of escalating copra/raw material
costs and the government controlled prices for their products, which resulted to losses on their part. Thus, eventually, the said products disappeared
in the market.

33
among government and industry representatives to draw up possible alternatives other than the
“military takeover.” Several proposals were floated: “(a) changing the existing tax rate differential
to further discourage copra exports; (b) outright ban of copra exports; (c) setting a ceiling
domestic price for copra; (d) retention scheme; and (e) the subsidy scheme to be financed
through the imposition of a levy of P15/ c.k. copra, upon the coconut farmers during their first
domestic sale.” In the end, the subsidy scheme was adopted. Thus, the issuance of PD No. 276
four days later.

Per PD 414 issued on 18 April 1974, the uses of the CCSF were expanded as follows:

“(1) to provide a subsidy for coconut based-products, depending on the prices set by the Price
Control Council; (2) to refund wholly or in part any premium export duty collected. The Board
shall take into account the degree of processing of the coconut product exported in refunding the
export premium duty; and (3) to set aside funds for investment in processing plants, research
and development, and extension services to the coconut industry.”

The rate of the CCSF has varied since 1973.

The Coconut Industry Development Fund (CIDF)

On November 14, 1974, another presidential decree (PD 582) was passed creating yet
another fund - the Coconut Industry Development Fund (CIDF). The CIDF is a permanent fund to
be administered by the National Investment and Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the
Philippine National Bank, for the following purposes:

“(a) to finance the establishment, operation and maintenance of a hybrid coconut seed nut farm
as would ensure that the country shall have, at the earliest possible time, a proper, adequate and
continuous supply of high yielding highbred seed nuts produced by the hybrid coconut seed farm
which shall be distributed for free by the authority to coconut farmers in accordance with, and in
the manner prescribed in the nationwide coconut replanting program that it shall devise and
implement; Provided, that farmers who have been paying the levy shall be given priority; and (c)
to finance the establishment, operation and maintenance of extension services, model plantations
and other activities that would insure that the coconut farmers shall be informed of the proper
methods of replanting their farms with hybrid seed nuts.”

The initial capitalization for the CIDF in the amount of P100 million was sourced from the
CCSF. PD 582 also specified that thereafter, at least P0.20 per kg of copra to its equivalent out of
the current CCSF collections shall be paid to the CIDF. In the event that the CCSF is terminated,
a permanent levy of P0.20 was thereafter imposed on the first sale of every kilogram of copra or
its equivalent.
On July 14,1976, PD No. 961, otherwise known as the Coconut Industry Code was
passed “ restructuring various laws that have been enacted to promote the rapid development of
the industry and integrate said laws into a codified law. On June 11, 1978, PD 961 was amended
through the issuance of PD 1468, also known as the Revised Coconut Industry Code. The decree
introduced the so- called vertical integration program in its declaration of policy, created the
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and restructured and further authorized the continued
collections of the CCSF and CIDF.
The collection of the CCSF and CIDF was suspended on May 20, 1980 by virtue of PD
No. 1699

The Coconut Industry Stabilization Fund (CISF)

On 2 October 1981, PD No. 1841 was passed establishing the CISF. It is called for the
collection of an assessment of P50 for every 100 kilos of copra resecada or its equivalent in other
coconut products from copra exporters, the oil millers, refiners, the desiccators and other end-

34
users of copra. The CISF shall be used for the implementation of socio-economic and
development programs for the coconut industry and shall be allocated for as follows:

“(a) P20.00: to finance the cost of the coconut hybrid replanting program and as such shall be
paid by the Authority to the CIDF; (b) P4.00: to defray the cost of the scholarship programs for the
deserving and gifted children of coconut farmers which amount shall be paid to the federation of
the coconut farmers, the Philippine Coconut Producer Federation; (c) P12.50: To fund the life and
accidents insurance expenses of coconut farmers the amount of which the Authority shall pay to
the bank acquired for the benefit of the farmers under PD 755 and which in turn, shall utilize the
amount to pay the required premiums to the issuance company owned by the coconut farmers;
(d) P3.00: to shoulder partly the operating expenses of the Philippine Coconut Producers
Federation; (e) P2.00: To defray part of the operating expenses of the Philippine Coconut
Authority; and (f) P8.50: To finance the coconut industry rationalization program envisioned and
prescribed by LOI 926, the provisions of which are hereby incorporated as part hereof, which
shall be paid to, and utilized by, the bank acquired for the benefit of the coconut farmers under
PD 755 to liquidate the liabilities of coconut oil mills/refineries, whose operations have been
stopped to effect the rationalization program, to the creditors that have agreed to a restructuring
of their respective claims under the guidelines prescribed under LOI 926; Provided, however, that
the amount allocated for this purpose shall be collected for a maximum period of five (5) years
and thereafter, the assessment fixed in section 1 hereof shall be automatically reduced to the
amount of P41.50 for every hundred kilos of copra resecada or its equivalent in other coconut
products.”

Coconut Reserve Fund

By virtue of PD No. 1842, issued on 16 January 1982, the fixed P50/c.k. copra CISF was
revised to an amount equivalent to a specific percentage of the prevailing world market price of
coconut oil. Further, the PD also established a Coconut reserve Fund “to ensure continued
financial support to critical socio- economic and development programs… in times of depressed
world prices for coconut.” The CRF is constituted from assessments in excess of P50/c.k. copra.

II. IMPACT **

Various levies were imposed on the coconut industry to support government programs
that would advance its development. Notable among these programs are those focusing on
replanting, vertical integration, subsidy and welfare. The government programs were designed
such that farmers would receive the following benefits: “(1) benefits derived from their ownership
of a bank that presently accumulates property; (2) credit extensions only for production purposes
at the preferential rate of 8 percent per annum; (3) the subsidized cooking oil and other coconut
consumer products; (4) the scholarship and death benefits; (5) a free replanting of old coconut
trees with a variety whose yield is five times more than that of the present 30 nuts/tree; and (6)
benefits arising from their control of the milling sector through UNICOM and eventually of the
trading sector.”
The burden of the coconut levy fell on the farmers. On the average, it accounted for close
to 41 percent of the farm price of their products from 1974 to 1978. While the programs financed
by the levy were supposedly designed to benefit them, the bulk of the benefits have, in fact, not
gone back to them. Ownership and control of what was supposed to be the farmers’ bank (UCPB)
actually fell on the hand of big planters, middlemen and other non-farmers. Only about 30 percent
of the farmers were eligible to become owners of the bank.
The subsidy program generated collections of P1,759.48 million from 1973 to 1979. The
bulk of this amount was paid to the edible oil manufacturers. A subsidy surplus was registered at

**
Discussions on the impact of the coconut levy and corresponding government programs drew heavily from the research paper of the Institute of
Labor and Manpower Studies on the Government Programs in the Coconut Industry (1981).

35
P 37.1 million from 1973 to 1978. The surplus was a major factor that led industry leaders to
continue the CCSF levy to implement other government programs (e.g. vertical integration)
The vertical integration program was intended to transform farmers into traders, bankers
and processors. It turned out to be a concession to big planters allowing them to own banks and
mills at the expense of the farmers.
The replanting program indirectly taxed the farmers. Thus, they were not aware that they
were taxed and how such tax was used. They may also not be aware that they were entitled to a
free replanting of their coconut with the superior hybrid.
In the end, what the farmers actually got, i.e., scholarship and insurance benefits,
represented just a trickle of the whole package of benefits.

III. STATUS

From the time the coconut levy was imposed up to 1982, total collections reached P9.7
billion. The money was sequestered by the PCGG in 1986 in response to protests from NGOs
and POs on the unconstitutionality of the private character of the funds. They cited two grounds,
namely: (a) only the government has the sole authority to impose a tax and (b) the levy collected
cannot be sued for private purposes. The COCOFED, on the other hand, counter filed, a case
before the Supreme Court questioning the sequestration move by the PCGG. They claimed that
the coconut is private property with the coconut farmers as owners. Until now, the issue has not
been resolved and the funds are still sequestered and frozen.

The controversy regarding the coconut levy actually resolves around two major issues – fund
character and ownership. The levy was originally intended as public fund to be used for financing
the capital requirements of the coconut industry. However, through “legal and political
maneuverings,” the fund became private in nature. While then President Ramos issued executive
Order No. 277 declaring the funds as “affected with public interest,” the EO did not categorically
state that the fund is public. The Supreme Court later declared that the levy funds belong to the
government.

In a landmark decision rendered recently (2004?), the Sandigan Bayan upheld two
important decisions of the Supreme Court declaring the levy funds as belonging to the
government (Romero, 2005).

Recent events indicate willingness by various parties for compromise in order to finally
resolve the issue and unblock the funds which from various estimates are valued at Php 50 to
P100 billion for the San Miguel shares and other CIIF assets. A farmer leader indicated (June
2006) that there is need to resolve the 8 Civil Cases (No. 0033-A to H) at the Sandigan Bayan to
finally unblock the levy funds.

References:

Institute for labor and Manpower Studies. 1981. The Government Programs in the Coconut
Industry: Who Pays, Who Benefits.
GEM/USAID. 1996. Utilization of the Coconut Levy Fund for Mindanao. Growth with Equity in
Mindanao Program (GEM/ USAID).
Romero, Jose. 2005. Transforming the Coconut Industry: Institutional and Policy Reforms.
Villasenor, Efren. Pambansang Kilusan ng Magsasaka at Manggagawa sa Niyugan (PKSMMN),
Personal Interview, June 2006.
ANNEX 5

Poverty incidence in Top Coconut Areas


Coconut Incidence of Coconut Area as
Province Areas (ha) Poor Population % of A&D Land
(%)

36
Quezon 241, 171 32.9 50.8
Davao Or. 153,914 32.8 76.6
Leyte 150,101 34.9 36.6
Zamboanga Norte 141,966 47.0 54.0
Zamboanga Sur 127,300 34.8 30.6
Misamis Occ 107,327 46.8 85.6
Camarines Sur 104,150 40.8 28.4
Davao del Sur 100,959 18.3* 41.8
Sorsogon 97,738 41.4 56.3
Surigao del Norte 93,300 48.6 76.8
Misamis Oriental 90,100 29.3** 51.5
Surigao del Sur 89,732 38.4 67.6
Camarines Norte 85,350 52.7 61.0
Lanao del Norte 79,000 49.1 50.0
Northern Samar 76,398 39.8 51.6
Sarangani 76,063 49.4 .n.a.
Masbate 75,890 61.5 28.8
Basilan 67,853 31.5 79.2
Sulu 66,902 58.9 140.2
Laguna 62,290 8.1*** 46.2
PHILIPPINES - 33.0 -
*Includes Davao City: regional center with its diversified agriculture
** Includes Cagayan de Oro, regional center with large industrial and service
activities
*** Large bedroom communities of Metro Manila, industrial estates, etc

37
ANNEX 6

STRATEGY MAKING BASED ON SWOT MATRIX

The coconut industry is a resilient one, full of potential but has many
weaknesses. While it hosts many opportunities, it also faces many threats.
These are considerations in formulating policy directions for the industry.

Coconut Industry: SWOT Analysis


ADVANTAGES CONSTRAINTS
STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
Inputs
1. Availability of good clones 1. Only 1% of the areas are planted
with good clones
2. No irrigation system in coconut areas
Farm Production
2. Favorable climate in most areas 3. Senile trees (30% of stands)
3. Availability of technologies 4. Only 1% of the farms apply fertilizers
5. Plantings in marginal lands
6. Intercropping in only 30% of the land
Logistics
4. Established marketing system 7. High assembly costs due to poor
roads and fragmented, small holdings
5. Export facilities 8. Multi-layered marketing channels
Milling
6. Presence of many mills 9. Underutilized mills
7. Presence of refiners 10. Underutilized refineries
11. Shortage of raw materials
12. High assembly costs
13. Low quality copra
Other Value Adding
8. Many product possibilities 14. Cost of raw materials
Institutions
9. Multi-stakeholders 15. Frequent changes in PCA leadership
16. Lack of program support; too
dependent on coco levy resolution
OPPORTUNITIES THREATS
1. Stable and growing export and 1. Poor global image in supply reliability
domestic markets
2. Good prospects for value added 2. Perception of government inaction
products (VCO, geotextiles, etc.)
3. Alternative fuel (coconut methyl 3. Competition from other tropical oils
ester- biodiesel) demand (i.e. palm oil and palm kernel oil)
4. Low domestic oil consumption 4. Development of rapeseed and cuphea
with high lauric content

38
5. More stringent sanitary and phyto-
sanitary (SPS) standards
6. Unregulated cutting of trees

Based on the SWOT analysis across the supply chain, benchmarking and issues
and program analysis, strategies have been derived. The SWOT strategy matrix
outlines the strategic directions of the industry.

Coconut SWOT Strategy Matrix


Opportunities (O) Threats (T)
Strengths (S) O-S Strategies T-S Strategies
Planting and replanting Expand production – T1: S1,
program – O1: S1, S2, S3, S2, S3
S5
Establish standards and Enhance public sector support
enhance marketing – O2: – T2: S1, S3, S4
S3, S4, S7
Expand production – O3: Long term industry strategic
S1, S2, S3, S6 plan – T2: S1, S3, S5, S6
Expand production and
improve quality – T3: S1, S2,
S3
Weaknesses (W) O-W Strategies T-W Strategies
Expand replanting and Expand replanting and
fertilization – O1: W1, W2, fertilization – T1: W1, W2, W3,
W3, W4, W9, W10 W4, W9, W10
Expand production and Enhance public sector support
marketing – O2: W1, W2, – T2: W1, W4, W5, W6, W7,
W3, W4, W5, W10 W8
Expand production – O3: Expand production and
W1, W2, W3, W4, W10 improve quality – T3: W1, W4,
W5, W6, W7, W8, W9, W10

The SWOT Matrix generated the following strategies given the industry’s external
opportunities and threats and its internal strengths and weaknesses.

O-S STRATEGIES

• Planting and replanting program


The industry has to expand the planting and replanting program to increase
production to supply a stable and growing market. This must be done in strategic
areas identified as having the most potential for growth.
• Establish standards and enhance marketing
Given the prospects of value added products, it is imperative that national
standards be established which are acceptable in the international markets.

39
Corollary to attaining this is the creation of village level processing plants as
close to the market to arrest quality deterioration.

• Expand production
The use of coconut oil for biodiesel will need a few thousand hectares given a
1% blend of biodiesel and petroleum diesel. To avoid compounding the already
poor supply reliability in the export market, there must be expansion of
production for biodiesel purposes.

O-W STRATEGIES

• Expand replanting and fertilization


A focused replanting program must be complemented by a fertilization strategy
for low yielding palms in non-senile areas.
• Expand production and marketing
The prospects of value adding can materialize with enough raw material
production to ensure supply reliability and through a sustained marketing
information campaign.
• Expand production (See above)

T-S STRATEGIES

• Expand production (See above)


• Enhance public sector support
The public sector support for the industry through the PCA should find its way to
the farmers. PCA seed gardens should be strategic with available supply of high-
yielding varieties. The PCA should act as catalyst and look at possibilities for the
LGUs and private sector/farmer to establish their own seed farms and nurseries.
A major source of government support would be the utilization of the coconut
levy funds.
• Long-term industry strategic plan
The coconut industry strategic plan 2020 (under consideration by the National
Academy of Science and Technology) should provide a roadmap where the
industry wants to go and map out the interventions to reach the goals. This must
be clearly understood and endorsed by industry players within the supply chain.
• Expand production and improve quality
In measuring up to the competition from other oils, it may not be sufficient to
expand production to address supply reliability but quality aspects as well since
there are cheaper oils.

T-W STRATEGIES

• Expand replanting and fertilization (See Above)


• Enhance public sector support (See above)

40