BOI seeks to boost agri output via cocoboards commercialization
The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the country’s lead industry promotions agency (IPA), had met with representatives of Swiss-based Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH) to discuss the potential commercialization of cocoboard (fiberboards made of coco coir) and tannin products and its key role in further boosting agricultural output in the country.
The meeting included government and private stakeholders from the coconut, forestry, chemical, furniture, footwear, tannery, and construction industries.
“We should take advantage of this opportunity since we are one of the largest coconut producers in the world and we still have abundant agricultural and forestry areas. Potential investors should seriously consider these products as the upside potential is there once it gains a foothold of the market,” BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said during the meeting.
“Commercialization will lead to greater demand that will further boost the agricultural output of the country,” she added.
Sauro Bianchi, deputy head of department of the BFH, said that today, coconut husks have a negative value. The Philippines accumulates annually about five million metric tons of husks from various coconut production facilities that are normally in heaps and just left to rot.
Since 2014, Swiss researchers from Bern have been working with partner institutions in the country in developing cocoboards made of crop residue.
As part of its initial industrial up-scaling, they were able to show to the public the production of 200 cocoboards.
“The cocoboards project is a perfect example of the circular economy concept where ecological construction panels are created from crop residues. Furthermore, the tannin-based adhesive of cocoboards are extracted from biomass and present another industry opportunity,” BOI said in a statement.
“These projects are now open for potential investors to commercialize the production of the boards”.
Bianchi shared that Coco Technologies, Camalig, a local partner for the project has currently applied for patent for the production of the said Cocoboard, and would be the appropriate partner for interested local stakeholders.