In pursuit of its thrust to promote regional and rural development of agri-based industries, the Board of Investments (BOI) recently approved the application of Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures, Inc. (CPAVI) as a new export producer of coconut milk under the Export Activities category of the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP). The PhP245.7 million project will involve the setting-up of a separate production line in the firm’s facility in Barangay Tambler, Calumpang, Purok Lansong in General Santos City.

The firm plans to produce up to 15.3 million kilograms of coconut milk annually when commercial operation starts on January 2018. The project will tap 536 personnel to man the operation. The coconut milk will be exported to Malaysia through LInaco Manufacturing Sdn. Bhd. which is a supplier/producer of coconut related products.

CPAVI is an existing BOI-registered enterprise engaged in the production of various coconut products such as coconut beverage and coconut shell, virgin coconut oil and coconut flour. Most of these products are exported to the United States and Europe. CPAVI entered into the coconut products manufacturing in 2013 initially as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) (tollpacker) for retail packaged Coconut Water and supply of white copra to industrial users. Eventually, it decided to produce its own line of coconut products.

“This will further boost the exports of various coconut products since they are in great demand abroad. Agro-based exports are on a roll and the agricultural sector just posted a positive turnaround in the first quarter of this year in contrast to the negative growth it registered in the same period last year,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

Latest figures from the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) show exports of total agro-based products reached US$2.06 billion in the first half of 2017, up 23.2 percent from US$1.67 billion in the same period last year. Among agro-based products, coconut products posted one of the highest increases in exports with US$920.7 million from January to June 2017, a 78.2 percent surge from US$516.8 million during the same frame in 2016.

Agriculture rebounded with a 5.7 percent growth in the first half quarter of 2017 from a contraction of 3.4 percent a year ago. The Department of Agriculture (DA) said good climate and favorable conditions in farming contributed to the positive growth.

The agriculture sector, which accounts for more than a tenth of the gross domestic product, contributed to the 6.4 percent GDP growth in the first half of 2017. PSA figures show the gross value of agricultural production hit P422.4 billion from January to June 2017, up 11.4 percent from the same period last year.

CPAVI is a wholly-owned affiliate of the Po family owned Century Pacific Food Inc., one of the country’s largest food conglomerates and known for its popular products such as Century Tuna, 555 Sardines, Argentina Corned Beef, Swift Hotdogs, among others.