The Board of Investments (BOI) recently approved the application of ALL BRIGHT RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL, INC. as a new export producer of coco fiber and coco peat, in line with the administration’s effort to ramp up the coconut production after a downturn last year due to the El Niño phenomenon. The Php30 million project qualified under the 2017 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) in the production and manufacture of export products where the 88 percent Canadian-Chinese firm is required to export at least 70 percent of its products.
All Bright is expected to produce up to 6,327 metric tons (MT) of coco fiber and 5,062 MT of coco peat annually in its plant in Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur and will export 100 percent of its production output to China, Korea, Japan and other neighboring countries. Operations already began in September 2017 with 124 personnel on board. The company says the raw materials will be sourced from the farmers in Malita, Sta. Maria, Kidapawan and other municipalities of Davao del Sur.
“This project will hopefully usher the coconut industry to fully explore its potential not only as one of the most nutritional products but also one of the most versatile ones in terms of consumer products given its multiple uses,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.
“We are already one of the world’s leading exporters of coconut products despite the dip in production last year due to the bad weather last year but I am confident that with favorable weather conditions, the industry will have a resurgence this year,” BOI Governor Napoleon Concepcion added.
Coco Fiber or more commonly known as coco coir is a product made from the outer shell of a coconut. It has a number of uses from rope to matting. Coco peat is a natural fiber made out of coconut husks.
According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), coconut production in copra terms reached 2.26 million metric tons (MMT) in 2015. Final figures for 2016 have yet to be fully accounted for although according to the United Coconut Association of the Philippines Inc. (UCAP), production for 2016 was estimated at 2.05 MMT. With favorable weather conditions, UCAP expects the production to increase to 2.24 MMT this year.
Exports of coconut products have been on a roll this year. Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) export figures show it reached $1.09 billion from January to July 2017, up 58 percent from $683 million during the same period in 2016.♦