Marcos Aims to Make Philippines Top Coconut Exporter, Boosts PCA Funding

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has committed to funding the Philippine Coconut Authority's program to plant 100 million coconut trees by 2028. The initiative aims to restore the Philippines' status as the world's top coconut exporter and producer.

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Nitish Verma
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Marcos Aims to Make Philippines Top Coconut Exporter, Boosts PCA Funding

Marcos Aims to Make Philippines Top Coconut Exporter, Boosts PCA Funding

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has renewed his commitment to adequately fund the Philippine Coconut Authority's (PCA) ambitious program to plant 100 million coconut trees by 2028. This initiative aims to restore the Philippines' status as the world's top exporter and producer of coconuts.

Why this matters: The coconut industry is a significant contributor to the Philippines' economy, and regaining its top spot as a global exporter could have a substantial impact on the country's agricultural sector and the livelihoods of millions of farmers. Moreover, a successful revitalization of the industry could also lead to increased economic opportunities and growth for the country as a whole.

The PCA's Coconut Planting and Replanting Project (CPRP) seeks to reverse the lackluster productivity of coconuts and lift 2.5 million farmers out of poverty. The program aims to plant 20 million to 25 million trees annually over the next five years, with a total of 100 million trees by 2028. In 2024, the PCA plans to replant 8.5 million coconut seedlings in 59,744 hectares and fertilize 2.8 million trees in 28,341 hectares.

The Private Sector Advisory Council-Agriculture Sector Group (PSAC-ASG) has advised President Marcos to direct the PCA to enter into contract farming with local salt farmers to supply salt as fertilizer in coconut lands. A P2.5-billion budget will enable the PCA to fertilize 55 million coconut trees, resulting in a projected 25% increase in nut productivity and extra profits for farmers.

Camarines Sur 2nd district Rep. LRay Villafuerte emphasized the importance of the CPRP, stating, "Spending big on the proposed CPRP of the PCA, which aims to plant 100 million coconut trees by the time the President leaves office in 2028, is pivotal to the goal of the Marcos administration to finally energize this once robust agriculture subsector, lift at least 2.5 million farmers out of poverty, and return our country to its erstwhile glory as the world's No. 1 coconut exporter."

In 2022, Indonesia ranked first in coconut production with 17.19 million metric tons, while the Philippines produced 14.93 million metric tons. The coconut sector accounts for a sizable part of the Philippines' agriculture sector, with average annual earnings of P1.4 billion from 2014 to 2018.

President Marcos has expressed his desire to make the Philippines the world's number 1 coconut exporter once again. With sufficient funding and the implementation of the PCA's ambitious planting program, the country aims to achieve this goal and provide a significant boost to the livelihoods of millions of coconut farmers.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. commits to funding PCA's 100 million coconut tree planting program by 2028.
  • The program aims to restore the Philippines as the world's top coconut exporter and producer.
  • 100 million trees to be planted in 5 years, with 20-25 million trees annually.
  • Fertilizing 55 million trees with salt is expected to increase nut productivity by 25%.
  • The coconut industry contributes P1.4 billion to the Philippines' agriculture sector annually.