Chinese company interested to import mature coconuts from PH
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Province of Hainan of the People’s Republic of China expressed interest in buying coconuts should the Philippine government lift the ban on the export of the unprocessed mature nuts.
The lifting of the ban is one of the measures that the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) came up with to address the falling prices of locally produced copra.
According to Piñol, a six-person delegation led by Xu Jun, Vice Chairman of the Hainan People’s Congress, has called him to signify the intent of the province to buy whole nuts.
He said, as cited by Piñol, that the processing plants in Hainan, which produce sweetened coconut milk, are currently buying 200 million nuts from Vietnam, Thailand, India and other countries.
The Philippines, however, does not allow the export of whole coconuts because of Executive Order 1016 Issued by 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.
But a recent slump in the prices of copra, the main product of the coconut, is making it hard for Filipino coconut farmers to make ends meet.
“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 said.
“Initially, I informed the Hainan group that the government is looking for programs which would benefit the country’s coconut farmers,” he added.