QUEZON CITY ---- “We have to explore the unlimited possibilities of the coconuts to invigorate the sleeping giant.”
This is what PCA Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. highlighted as the industry players gathered virtually during the Investment Forum held last August 4, 2021 as part of the 35th National Coconut Week celebration.
Emphasizing the major coconut products and materials which are not optimally utilized such as the coconut water, husks and shell, PCA stressed that the investment forum aims to promote value addition of coconuts and increase utilization of materials. This will help not only in optimizing raw material recovery towards zero waste management system but most importantly, in providing livelihood to the coconut farmers and farming communities.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, also sitting as the Vice Chair of the reconstituted Board under RA 11524 or the “Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act”, noted that the coconut industry faces challenging times manifested through the decline in copra prices. “We have to act swiftly and decisively today to create competitive businesses around the industry and ensure sustainability for the livelihood of our coconut farmers,” Dominguez urged in his speech.
During the first day of the Investment Forum, companies venturing on the utilization of coco husks - Fortuna Cools, Inc., ProSource International in partnership with NaturLoop Sustainable Composites, and Asia Coco Pallet, Inc. presented their on-going projects and partnership opportunities on the production of coco husks as insulation material which can be an alternative for a styro box called as coco coolers, conversion of coco husk into good quality boards for panels (coco boards) and use of coco husks for the production of high quality coco pallets respectively.
The second day had a line-up of equally interesting topics on innovative products such as coco patch, coconut water processing, coconet bio-engineering, and the VCO Convergence Project.
Several potential investors and partners have initially manifested commitments on investment areas presented during the forum. With 222 registered participants and 55 potential investors present, initial on the spot investment committed reach P4.31 million.
“Coconut products remain as a prime commodity. And so, we enjoined all participants to work with PCA, support and cooperate in various investment areas to achieve the rapid, integrated and inclusive development of the coconut industry,” Madrigal remarked. ###