MANILA — As the world’s top coconut exporter and to ensure that supply meets a fast-growing demand for coconut water as a healthy and alternative sports drink globally, the Philippine government has increased the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) budget for coconut replanting in the country.
According to Carlo Carpio, PCA’s deputy administrator, PCA was given a budget of P512 million for replanting next year, up by P452 million from this year’s budget of P60 million. In addition, about P354 million was earmarked for the fertilization of coconut plantations, which covers 3.4 million hectares of the country’s total agricultural lands. Big plantations in Quezon and Camarines Sur provinces are now old and need replacement.
The export of coconut oil fell by double digits in both volume and value terms in August this year due to lower domestic output. Local production of copra, from which coconut oil is extracted, has slowed dramatically following last year’s El Nino drought phenomenon and with millions of ageing trees bearing fewer fruits.
The main industry group has forecast exports of coconut oil, which is used in food, detergents and biofuels, to decline to 900,000 tons from last year’s shipment of 1.32 million tons.