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Revitalization’ Patricio S. Faylon2 and Juanito T. Batalon2 Introduction The coconut industry is considered a major lifeblood of the Philippine agriculture. Coconut is the country’s top agricultural export, which used to be earning an annual average revenue of US$ 500-800 million. However, based on the 2008 first semester performance of US$822.89, 930,130MT equivalent in copra terms, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is confident that the industry will be able to earn more than US$1.0B in export revenues this year (The Philippine Star, 10/05/08). The coconut palm is planted in 3.12 million hectares all over the country, dominating the landscape in 68 out of the total 75 provinces. It is a major crop in 1,195 out of 1,554 municipalities. The industry provides vital economic support to the rural communities, with over 3.4 million farmers directly deriving their income from the industry and another 23 million Filipinos for their livelihood. Coconut continues to be in demand everywhere for food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, handicraft, industrial, and other emerging products and byproducts. The aggressive expansion in coconut areas being undertaken by other coconut producing countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, among others, is proof that the coconut industry will remain a viable and strategic industry. However, the country’s coconut production and productivity are both declining. Efforts to reverse this current trend, develop farming activities that would increase farmers’ income, and diversify into development and production of non-traditional and high value coconut products must be put in place. Technological support programs are crucial in sustaining the competitiveness of the industry. It has been noted that support to coconut industrial R&D is minimal compared to R&D addressing coconut production concerns. Historically, political intervention strongly influenced the coconut industry. Existing institutions and interest groups represent various stakeholders. Strong political will to implement necessary reforms and policies is needed to spark further growth and sustain the viability and competitiveness of the industry.
Paper presented during the UCPB-CIIF Coconut Forum held on October 27-28, 2008, UCPB Building, Makati City. 2 Executive Director and Senior Science Research Specialist, respectively, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
information on the status. increasing peoples’ health consciousness).03M ha. issues and concerns affecting the industry have been consolidated from the various stakeholders of the industry. Yield gap is 48 nuts/tree between unfertilized (38 nuts/tree) and fertilized farms (86 nuts/tree) Total of 1. the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture. 25% of existing palms need to be replaced Existing seed gardens can only supply 3.000 trees/year or 1. quality products and by-products.8M palms (222. to produce quality high-value and competitive products. Specifically.e. including productive palms 2 .6 M nuts for the replanting program. the following are the major issues and concerns identified during the series of consultations conducted: A. Since then. For the production sector.465 ha/year) Limited supply of HYVs Low and declining yield Uncontrolled cutting. Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) in collaboration with various stakeholders in the industry has come up with a draft Industry Strategic Plan (ISP) for the Philippine Agriculture 2020.In 2005. rising food and fossil fuel prices. A deficit of 6. PRODUCTION Issues/ Concerns Old and senile palms Current Status 75M old and unproductive palms in 1. PCARRD has focused and worked out for the relevant R&D translation of the plan considering the main events that have been happening globally which affect our agriculture (i.4 M nuts per year National average yield is 43 nuts per tree per year which is only 53% of potential yield of 80 nuts. the objective is to transform coconut farming from subsistence to entrepreneurial system. The Plan envisions the Philippines to be a reliable and competitive supplier of coconut. and for the processing sector. climate change. both locally and globally. Major Issues and Concerns of the Industry In order to come up with the R&D agenda that will support the revitalization of the coconut industry.
90% of production go to processed oil.18% of total production. Oleochem) Problem in disposal of coconut water and other wastes from coconut processing plants High cost of machineries for nontraditional products such coco coir Heavy dependence on traditional export products and markets Coconut oil is a mere price taker in the fats and oil trade in the world market . DCN). use better drying facilities) systems High PAH (spell out please) content of coconut oil produced from copra prepared by direct drying (specifically tapahan method) Shortage in raw materials for different products Impact of coconut waste to environment Lack of processing infrastructure for non-traditional products C.B. Majority of exported coconut products are copra-based (CNO.5%. TRADES AND MARKET Issues/ Concerns Low domestic consumption of coconut products Current Status Domestic consumption: Phil – 20.5 kg. CNO.e. Domestic price increase/year is 15. India – 102. copra cake. PROCESSING Issues/ Concerns Current Status No incentive to produce good quality Poor quality and inefficient copra processing. marketing and processing copra (i.41%/year 3 Nut supply shortage due to competition with other coconut product industry (VCO. Indonesia – 71% Per capita consumption of CNO in Phils at 7kg/year is less than half the world average of 16.92% while world export price increase is only 4.
food processors. two (2) institutions composed of the Philippine Coconut Research and Development 4 . Limited support for market promotion Limited knowledge of the market potential of novelty items from coconut Limited information on health benefits negative perception about the effects of CNO to human body Multilayered marketing system of traders and wholesalers No specific authority for PCA to intervene with coir fiber industry The prospect of the industry will remain bright as long as the end-users of the coconut industry are confident that the supply will continue to be stable. owner-tillers. The agencies from the public sector heavily involved in coconut research and development undertakings are PCA. civil society. Davao Research Center. and financing institutions. research. and Zamboanga Research Center). tenant. exporters. Leyte and some institutes under DOST like the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI). From the private sector. traders. To ensure sustainability of the industry in the long term. oil refiners. their respective workers and their dependents. equal importance should be given on the manufacturing side to complement efforts on agricultural production. teachers and students in private and state colleges and universities. the expansion and advancement of the manufacturing sector will provide the needed impetus for totally revitalizing the industry. as well as the R&D sector comprising of researchers and scientists. industrial processors. desiccators. with its 3 research centers (Albay Research Center. oil millers. buyers. and Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI). Other stakeholders include government agencies involved in policy and trade. But with coconut production and raw material supply taken care of by the agriculture sector. farm workers). Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI). a goal which should have been part of a holistic and synergistic approach with other stakeholders to fully propel the industry forward. Regional Coconut Research Center (RCRC) based in Visayas State University in Baybay. The stakeholders include the farmers (landowners. national federations. and the private sector including national associations. the scientific community aimed to address some of the constraints besetting the industry through R&D and S&T interventions. the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).tillers.Inadequate government intervention in coir industry. Coconut R&D in the Philippines For the past decades.
increased utilization of new varieties. coconut research receives lower funding support compared to other commodities.166. agricultural production. Inc. coconut R&D has received substantial amount from PCARRD and DOST during the period 1990-2007 (Table 1). This investment led to development of key technologies and information such as enhanced production of quality makapuno planting materials. biotechnology. control of economically important pests. socio-economics and processing.500 85. and cultural management). To help boost the industry. among others. marketing.065 1.400 3. Table 1. DOST-PCARRD R&D Investment in Coconut (1990-2007) R&D Area/Discipline Varietal Improvement/Seed System Crop Production/Cultural Management Crop Protection/Pest Management Makapuno R&D Coconut Biotechnology Product Development and Processing Piloting/Technology Transfer TOTAL Total Budget (P) 41. (PCRDF) and the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP) are likewise actively involved in coconut R&D activities. Agricultural production (includes pest and disease management. and development of new products.Foundation. in spite of its substantial contributions to the Philippine economy.500. of which bulk of the investment was received from 1997-2002. intercrops and by-products.770.467.218. However.381.735 5 . high-value products from coconuts.558 902.080 27.925 8.207 2. varietal improvement/seed system.406. Coconut R&D Investment Priority R&D activities in coconut have always been directed towards technology development to increase farm productivity and income through efficient production of diversified. Coconut research covers the area of varietal improvement/seed system. and coconut biotechnology had the most number of researches and funding support.
Varietal Improvement/Seed System • • • Nine local hybrids and one tall variety in support of the coconut replanting program.068. with potential yields of 4-6 t/ha copra per year First synthetic cultivar (synvar) of coconut as strategy in mass propagation of improved materials Embryo-cultured makapuno seedlings. making it more amenable to intercropping Machines and Equipment • • • Low-cost and efficient coco husk decorticating machine Improved copra dryers Mechanical briquettor for making charcoal briquettes from coconut shells and husks Value Adding Products/Technologies • • • • • • Coco wine and champagne Cocogro. already adopted by some small-scale processors Coco skim milk and flour 6 .On the other hand. which could increase farm net income Common salt as effective and cheap fertilizer for coconut Coconut leaf pruning technology to increase light intensity. already adopted by small scale processors Nata de coco and coconut water vinegar production. the following are some of the notable technologies developed/generated. and promoted by different research institutions and agencies. Significant Research Breakthroughs in Coconut From the numerous research and development activities that have been conducted in coconut.103 while PCA invested a total of P169. The hybrids flower and bear fruits earlier than the local cultivars.759. with 75-100% success Crop Production • • • Sequential coconut toddy and nut production technology (SCNPT).and large-scale processors Coco sugar. the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAR) shared a total of P44.560 excluding the personal services and maintenance expenditure for the 3 PCA research centers during the same period. a natural product from coconut milk or water that promotes plant growth and development Coco milk yoghurt. which are widely adopted by small.
and e) Region 11. the strategic programs/projects being packaged under the STA would develop technologies and information that would increase coconut productivity and farmers’ income in strategic locations. With the STA. but will also include other likely impact areas.• • • • Virgin coconut oil processing technologies Cocowood-based wares and handicrafts Coco veneer laminated panels Cold process technology in soap-making PCARRD’s Science and Technology Agenda for Coconut The development of Science and Technology Agenda (STA) is a major step which PCARRD conceptualized and is currently being implemented to provide realistic and relevant S&T that would cater to the needs of the various stakeholders in the Agriculture. c) Region 7. These strategic R&D areas would help solve some of the concerns identified in the ISP. Coconut planting expansion in selected provinces and coastal areas Bicol Region and Other Selected Provinces • • Accreditation of farmers’ plantations as sources of quality planting materials Accreditation of provincial and municipal coconut nurseries 7 . strategic R&D investment will continue in coconut but priority where to give support for implementation of R&D projects will be given to the regions indicated above. enhance production of quality planting materials. coconut has been identified as a priority crop for R&D investment in five (5) regions. and develop high-value products. Forestry and Natural Resources (AFNR) sector. However. b) Region 5. The following research and development agenda has been identified for coconut which can be gleaned as strategic and/or urgent. namely: a) Region 4. 1. Under the STA. the results of such research endeavors will not be limited to these regions. d) Region 9. The STA for coconut was crafted to focus on fewer but strategic areas of S&T investments due to the following: a) Need to be consistently relevant with the needs of clients and beneficiaries b) Small and dispersed investments in R&D activities c) Lack of impact of coconut R&D program d) Relatively low S&T contribution to the coconut industry and on economic development. as a whole Specifically for coconut.
• • Establishment of coconut seedgardens for the production of recommended coconut hybrids Establishment of seedfarm per province for the production of synthetic coconut variety Coastal Areas • • • • Coastal land resources inventory. Makapuno • • • • Expansion of makapuno planting Continued production of embryo cultured makapuno Development of affordable and efficient system for makapuno propagation Development of new food and non-food products from makapuno 3.000 ha through judicious fertilization and new plantings (i. 2. socio-economic survey and economic valuation Extensive rehabilitation of 500. Biotechnology Somatic embryogenesis • • • Characterization of previously identified proteins associated with somatic embryogenesis and undesirable developments during induction and maturation of somatic embryos Improvement of plantlet conversion in coconut by improving nutrient medium for somatic embryogenesis Training on coconut somatic embryogenesis technological advances Molecular markers • • • Characterization of 98 accessions conserved at PCA-ZRC Development of kits for use in marker-assisted breeding program Packaging of DNA marker technologies developed 8 .e. coastal areas of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions) Coconut farm diversification in coastal areas to enhance productivity and farm income Biomass generation. nutrient recycling and carbon sequestration The proposed development projects in the Bicol Region and coastal areas can be supported by the planned poverty reduction project and biotechnology projects.
respectively Chemical analysis of the composition of coconut sugar and coconut flour Nutritional studies for coconut flour (dietary fiber benefits) Focused Programs Priority will be given to R&D activities that would support the establishment of coconut seed farms and nurseries for the production of recommended coconut hybrids and synthetic variety developed by PCA. Coconut oil for biodiesel • • • Comprehensive testing of CME related to effect on engine. hence no competition with other food crops. freeze drying coconut sugar. Medicinal and nutriceutical research • • • Clinical and nutritional trials on the use of VCO and coconut sugar for HIV and diabetes control. health and economy Field testing of filtered coconut oil as biodiesel for motor vehicles and stationary engines Comparative study of coconut biodiesel using CME and filtered coconut oil to determine efficiencies and comparative advantages 7. mechanical drying of coconut fiber.) 6. Production of high-value products • • • Production of natural hand-made carpets and rubberized coconut fiberbased products Market research for VCO. Particular attention will be given in coastal areas and strategic locations (selected provinces) where poorest people live and greater nut requirement is observed. efficient village-level decorticating machines and high-quality VCO production. environment. and there is no other crop than coconut that can be commercially grown in coastal areas. 9 . It is noted that higher coconut yields are observed in coastal areas than in inland areas. etc. coconut sugar and geotextiles Development and testing of efficient machineries for the production of high-value coconut products (i.4.e. Brontispa research • • • • Pesticide management of Brontispa Identification of other predators of Brontispa in addition to earwig Population dynamics study with the natural enemies and develop strategic control interventions Development of other control methods including the use of volatiles 5.
000 nuts per hectare or 4. allowing farmers to continuously earn from the farm while waiting for the replanted coconuts to start fruiting and makes full use of the available land in the under storey of tall and still productive palms. As demonstrated in the PCA-COGENT project. Selected tall populations and the synthetic variety could yield about 16. Establishment of pilot coconutbased agribusiness centers in major production areas in the short term and in all the 57 coconut provinces in the medium term are the targets of the coconut strategic industry plan. financially viable. Imperative to this is establishment of coconut seed farms and nurseries in selected locations to produce the required quality planting materials. socially acceptable and environmentally safe such as 10 . Establishment of coconut seed farms and nurseries Paramount to realizing the vision of the Philippine coconut industry of being globally competitive and reliable supplier of high quality coconut products is to resolve the declining and low coconut productivity in the country within the next two decades.000 kg copra/ha/year. Coconut Farm Diversification The rehabilitation and fertilization program complement the intercropping program under the poverty alleviation strategy. The sustainable growth of the coconut industry rests on the country’s ability to significantly increase coconut productivity through increased yield of existing productive palms through balanced fertilization on the short-term and new planting or replanting of old senile palms using high yielding varieties/hybrids on highly suitable areas in the long-term.000-6.000-22.Special attention will also be given to R&D activities that would promote coconut farm diversification activities in order to enhance farm productivity and income of the coconut farmers. increasing coconut yield by at least 25%. the lives of coconut farmers can be improved if given the chance to access opportunities and resources in establishing income-generating activities that are technically feasible. Comprehensive planting/replanting program in strategic locations has to be put in place so that projected increase in productivity can be realized. There are coconut-based farming systems and coconut processing enterprise modules already developed and implemented successfully by some local farmers and entrepreneurs and proven to work in other countries that can be adapted in coconut-growing communities. The use of high yielding synthetic varieties and local hybrids in the replanting program could increase production 3-5 times. Inter-row cultivation and fertilization of the intercrops will also benefit the coconuts.
processors. c) integrating with livestock. For the coconut industry to remain viable and gain competitive advantage in the global market. shell. Poverty in coconut communities needs to be addressed without them losing interest in coconut. Conclusion Small coconut farmers and workers remain poor because coconut farming is unprofitable and can no longer support even the most basic needs of the farm household. P3B Investment for the AFNR From this set of proposed R&D initiatives. products and information as well as services would provide significant contributions to the cause of the coconut farmers. This investment is in addition to the ongoing and new projects being funded by DOST and PCARRD. The coconut R&D has been categorized as part of the Aggressive Programs for Export Development. No amount of improvement in the efficiency of the other sectors would matter without the support of the supply line. It is hoped that with the proposed R&D initiatives.a) production of high-value coconut products from all parts (husk. meat and water). Special attention has to be given to increasing coconut production and productivity. 11 . strategic and doable technologies. there has to be assurance of a steady supply of high quality raw materials from the production sector. priority projects that will be funded up to 2010 were identified as part of the P3B investment for the AFNR. and Support to Allied Agricultural/Forestry/Fishery Services as shown in Table 2. and d) establishing community-managed coconut nurseries. consumers and other stakeholders in the industry. b) intercropping cash and food security crops.
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