Once the Philippine government has lifted the ban on the export of the unprocessed mature coconuts, its products has already a prospective buyer, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
Piñol said the Province of Hainan of the People’s Republic of China led by Xu Jun, vice chairman of the Hainan People’s Congress, called him to signify the intent of the province to buy whole coconuts.
Piñol said the processing plants in Hainan that produces sweetened coconut milk are buying 200 million nuts from Vietnam, Thailand, India and other countries.
However, Piñol said the Philippines does not allow the export of raw coconuts under Executive Order 1016 issued by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1985.
Ranked third in the world as the biggest coconut producing country, the Philippines is the largest exporter of coconut products.
Piñol said the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) governing board has earlier proposed the lifiting of the ban on exports because of the recent slump in the prices of copra, the main product of the Philippine Coconut Industry, and the current market demand for unprocessed green coconut.
“During my dialogue with the members of the Hainan delegation brought to my office by PCA Administrator Romulo dela Rosa, I proposed the formation of a technical working group composed of representatives of Hainan province and the PCA to work on the details of the proposed procurement program,” Piñol explained.
Piñol added that he initially informed the Hainan group that the government is looking for programs which would benefit the country’s coconut farmers.