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Gov’t fortifies collaborative efforts to meet coco coir industry targets
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Through the recent National Coco Coir Summit, the government led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) works to strengthen national and local collaborative efforts to promote, develop, and sustain the growth of the Philippine coco coir industry and achieve its targets.
“We really need a very strong convergence. We will be needing support industries such as the transport, machineries and ancillaries; small coconut farmers, cooperatives, associations, processors, exporters, and traders; government agencies and units such as the DTI, Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF), and local government units (LGUs); and the Philippine coconut industry cluster team for the coconut coir and peat,” DTI Undersecretary Merly M. Cruz said during the 2nd National Coco Coir Summit in Lucena City.
Dubbed as “May pera sa bunot,” this summit was held from March 21 to 22 in Lucena City. It aims to gather the industry’s stakeholders and key players nationwide to assess their performance status, update on the results of government interventions, share best practices for replication, and resolve their concerns.
“By 2016, we intend to place the country’s coco coir industry in the world’s top 3 exporter of coco coir,” Cruz said.
To achieve this objective, the following goals are set by 2016: USD 50M in exports, Php1.7B in domestic sales, P2B in investments, 200,000 farmers and 450 SMEs assisted, and 10,000 jobs created.
According to data from the PCA, the Philippines lags behind in terms of coconut production and volume of coir product exports compared coconut producing countries like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and Indonesia in 2011.
For instance, the Philippines produces only 6,037 metric tons (MT) of coco coir products for export from the 15.245B nuts harvested from its 3.562M hectares of land. On the other hand, Sri Lanka produces 120,616 MT of coco coir export products out of 0.395M hectares of land that produces 2.707B nuts.
From 2010 to 2012, the contribution per coco coir commodity to the country’s export include: raw or baled fiber (62%), coco peat or dust (25%), coco twines or cordage (11%), and other products (2%), Cruz said.
Cruz noted that our major export markets for coco coir and peat products are China, Japan, Taiwan, USA for the raw or baled fiber; China, Korea, Singapore, Japan for peat and dust; China, EU, UAE, US, and Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Vietnam for coco twines or cordage; and Malaysia and US for other products such as carpets.
She also mentioned two new government programs supporting the industry. These are the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) of the DTI and Coco Tufting Facility of the PCA. Currently, there are 30 identified SSFs in regions 3, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13.
Cruz also mentioned three objectives in achieving the industry’s targets: to develop and expand domestic supply-base for coco coir; to strengthen access to domestic and export market information; to strengthen market linkage among actors within the value chain.
In addition, she discussed market prospects for the coco coir and peat. These include: coir geotextile, coconets, coco fascines for domestic market in DPWH projects and mining sites and for export in China, US, and Asia; coir mattresses and rubberized coir for export and domestic markets; coir tufted mats for the domestic market and export market in US, EU and Asia; coir twines and yarns for the domestic market as input to coco net weaving and tufting and for the export market in China, Asia, Europe and USA; and coco peat as a multi-purpose soil conditioner and growing medium for the European market and local nurseries, and landscaping.
To cap it all, Cruz presented four business models for coir process: community-based integrated processing; big-brother integrator (with decorticating plant and outsources twining to communities and serves as integrator); tufting facility as market consolidator of coco twines, and triple-armor application of coir in mining sites. She also mentioned a potential business model on the coco peat as high quality growing media produced through a completely controlled process.