(from left) DTI VI OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollentes, DTI Capiz Provincial Director and Regional Inclusive Cluster Coordinator for High-Value Coconut Products Ken Queenie Cunada, Regional Manager of the Philippine Coconut Authority Dr. Neil Melencion, and Regional Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture Region VI Mr. Dennis Arpia, delivering their messages during the 2023 CoCaNut Summit held on September 27, 2023 at the Iloilo Convention Center

ILOILO CITY – The Iloilo Convention Center buzzed with excitement as a diverse gathering of approximately 250 participants, including coffee, cacao, and coconut farmers, traders, processors, and representatives from partner national government agencies, the academe and financial institutions, hailing from all provinces across Western Visayas, came together for the highly-anticipated CoCaNut Summit, in its second year, with the theme “Advancing Together: Market Opportunities cum Investment Forum”.

The event opened with a warm welcome from the Department of Trade and Industry VI OIC-RD Ermelinda Pollents, who set the stage for a day of collaboration, innovation, and shared growth opportunities.  OIC-RD Pollentes expressed her gratitude to distinguished guests, including Dr. Neil Melencion, Regional Manager of the Philippine Coconut Authority, Region VI, and Mr. Dennis Arpia, Regional Executive Director of the Department of Agriculture Region VI, among other notable figures.

The CoCaNut Summit, organized by DTI VI exemplifies DTI VI’s commitment to nurturing priority industry clusters and driving local economies forward. The core objective of the summit is to delve into marketing opportunities, investment prospects, and strategies that will not only bolster the economic landscape of Region 6 but also create synergy among the Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut sectors. OIC-RD Pollentes emphasized the need to establish a robust ecosystem where these industries can leverage each other’s strengths.

A key highlight of the event is the product exhibit, showcasing the finest products from the Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut sectors within the region. OIC-RD Pollentes stressed the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs and artisans, emphasizing that such support contributes to the sustainable growth of the regional economy.

The event has also extended its reach by inviting financial institutions like DBP, LBP, SB Corp, and PCIC to be a part of the summit, serving as a platform to address and provide on-site solutions to financial queries and concerns of the attendees.

As the CoCaNut Summit unfolds, the attendees participated in plenary discussions on market trends and torecasts, market opportunities, the power of packaging, CoCaNut export potentials and networking opportunities, all geared toward harnessing the potential of Coffee, Cacao, and Coconut sectors in the region.

The summit represents more than an event; it serves as a symbol of hope and progress for Region 6 and was poised to become a transformative gathering, bringing together and advancing these three crucial sectors in Region 6. As conversations and partnerships develop, this summit holds the potential to reshape the economic landscape in Western Visayas, ushering in a promising era of prosperity. ♦

Date of release: 27 September 2023