PCA eyes fivefold increase in coco exports with hybrid replanting

Apr 4, 2013


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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (April 1, 2013) The Philippine Coconut Authority in Region X is eyeing a fivefold increase in Northern Mindanao’s coconut based exports with the massive replanting of the region’s coconut areas with new hybrids as soon as the hybrid coconut seed farms starts producing hybrid coconut seeds five years from now.


A sample coconut hybrid at the Zamboanga Research Center in San Ramon, Zamboanga City (photo by Mike Banos)

“We are now establishing hybrid coconut production seedfarms in selected coconut barangays in the region to produce hybrid coconut seeds to be used in the massive replanting of the region’s coconut farms using the hybrid coconut varieties developed by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA),”said Luis G. Cruz, PCA-10 regional manager during the Quarterly Regional Economic Situationer (QRES) facilitated by the National Economic Development Authority-Region X (NEDA) last March 26, 2013.


PCA-10 Regional Manager Luis G. Cruz fields questions during the Quarterly Regional Economic Situationer held March 26, 2013 at the NEDA-10 conference room. (photo by Mike Banos)

“These new varieties offer up to a fivefold increase in yield from the present 1.2 metric tons per hectare (m.t./ha.) to as much as 5-6 m.t./ha.,” Mr. Cruz added. “After the new varieties are in place, the region is in a good position to substantially increase its US$664.6-million export revenues of coco based exports realized in 2012.”


List of PCA recommended hybrids (photo by Mike Banos)

The PCA-10 undertook planting of some 30 2-hectare hybrid coconut seed production farms in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental with coconut seed parent materials provided by the PCA Research Center in San Ramon, Zamboanga City. More of these hybrid coconut seed farms will be established this year in varoius coconut barangays to supply the region with the needed hybrid coconut seeds for its massive hybrid coconut replanting 5 years from now.  Region X has 298,072 has. of coconut farms of which some 100,000 hectares are targeted for replanting with the new hybrid coconut seeds.
Last year, PCA-10 started a pilot hybrid coconut seed production farm with the Tagpako Free Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TFFMC) in Gingoog City which would be replicated all over the region.
PCA will provide funds for the purchase and delivery of its recommended good quality seedlings, technical assistance and technical training while TFFMC will provide the land and personnel to man the farm.
Coconut based products account for over half the total value of Region 10’s exports.
Figures from the Bureau of Customs Region X show traditional coco based products such as coco chemicals, activated carbon, coconut oil, dessicated coconut, copra cake/pellets and coconut shell charcoal increased by 30.66 % in 2012 to US$634.7-million compared to US$485.7-million in 2011.
Non-traditional coconut products such as coconut water, coconut cream and coconut milk powder, on the other hand, showed an even bigger 51.32 percent hike in 2012 to US$ 29.968-million from US$ 19.805-million in 2011.
The fifteen coconut variety hybrids recommended for the NCPRP not only have higher yields, (4-6 tons copra/ha/year) but also boast of higher medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) contents and higher tolerance to adverse growing conditions than traditional varieties, said Ramon L. Rivera, officer-in-charge of the PCA’s Zamboanga Research Center which helped develop the hybrid varieties.
Although the economic slowdown in Europe and the United States have resulted to lower copra prices in the past year, Mr. Cruz believes the Department of Energy’s positive action on the Department of Agriculture’s request to mandate an increase in the blend of biodiesel from the current 2 percent to 5 percent would help stabilize domestic prices since the next mandated adjustment to B7 (7-percent blend) is still set for 2020.
It would also help increase the demand for copra and help stabilize farm incomes of the country’s three million coconut farmers, he added.
The Asian Institute of Petroleum Studies Inc. earlier estimated that raising the biodiesel blend to 5 percent will only add 15 centavos per liter to current prices while reducing diesel imports by P12.25 billion or a foreign exchange savings of US$298.8-million and an additional P11.5 billion savings from increased mileage.

The institute is also urging oil-fired power plants to use coco-biodiesel which will improve their cost efficiency and environment-friendly with the substantial elimination of harmful emissions.

Distribution utilities in the municipality of Quezon, Bukidnon and the cities of Gingoog, Cagayan de Oro, Valencia and Iligan have oil-fired generating sets totaling approximately 75 megawatts (MW) while the Iligan Diesel Power Plant (IDPP) now undergoing rehabilitation by the Mapalad Power Corporation in Iligan City would eventually be able to produce 98 MW for the Mindanao Grid.

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