July 23, 2019
THE first shipment of Philippine green or young coconuts to United States and China is set to commence next week, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in a statement on Monday said a group of coconut industry stakeholders from Mindanao had met with him to report that they have readied their export quality coconut supplies for the US and Chinese markets.
“The shipment of young coconuts to China will start next week,” Piñol said, noting that this will be followed by the DA’s launching of marketing young coconuts in San Jose, California.
The two countries also await for the first shipment of Philippine mature dehusked coconuts, he added.
“John Tan, a Chinese businessman who was with the group, said he is also interested in signing a long term marketing agreement with Filipino coconut farmers. He said Filipino farmers could expand their aromatic variety coconut as there is a huge and almost insatiable market in China,” said Piñol.
For its part, the DA assured Tan he will be linked up with local coconut farmers groups as an initial market linkage of Filipino coconut growers with Chinese buyers and consolidators.
To recall, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) allowed in May the entry of Philippine young coconuts to the US. Dr. Jill Wallace, head of the US delegation and deputy director of
Phytosanitary Issues Management (PIM), confirmed that young coconuts from the Philippines that are immature/green, and with 75 percent or more of outer shell surface of the husk removed, can be inspected and released to the US as authorized under 7 CFR 319.56.
Since October last year, the DA started to ramp up efforts for the rebirth of the Philippine coconut industry and make the country as one of the world’s top producer of the billion dollar-earning commodity.
To help boost the country’s coconut industry, the DA is also focusing on developing high-value products of coconut like coco sugar, virgin coconut oil, coconut water, among others.
In the Philippines, an estimated 25 million people directly and indirectly depend on the coconut industry for their livelihood.
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