Philippines eyes billion-dollar coconut sugar market

Philippine government and private sector representatives are meeting next month to craft a master plan on coconut sap sugar and how the industry can get into the global market for a sugar alternative “With the increasing demand, the coconut sap sugar industry presents a promising business opportunity for the farmers and small to medium enterprises,” said Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) project development officer Erlene C. Manohar, who is appointed as chair of an upcoming industry conference.

The higher demand for coconut sap sugar may be related to the prevalence of diabetes and the growing interest of health enthusiasts worldwide, said Manohar.

The PCA, the Bureau of Agricultural Research, and coconut sap sugar farmer will convene the First National Coconut Sap Sugar Industry Congress by March 2012.

The congress was conceived by the government agencies in response to a perceived potential of an international market for processed coconut sap as a healthy sugar, from which farmers may benefit.

During the March 5 to 6 conference in Davao City’s Marco Polo Hotel, the organizers intend to safeguard the coconut sap sugar industry by establishing a product quality certification body.

“We believe our farmers and entrepreneurs can create a niche in natural products whose primary value is their health quality.

Coconut sap sugar is one of those products that has already taken off in the market and which still offers so much valuable growth potential,” said Agricultural Research director Dr. Nicomedes P. Eleazar.

Thailand and Indonesia, apart from the Philippines, are the only countries that produce coconut sap sugar. But the Philippine government believes locally produced coconut sap sugar is better in terms of quality compared to Indonesia’s and in term of volume in the case of Thailand. The Philippines, according to the Agricultural Research Bureau, broke into the coconut sap sugar market in the United States in March 2007 after it was proven that coconut sap sugar has a low glycemic index (GI) of 35, compared to GI 65 to GI 100 for sugar cane-based sugars.

The data is based on a scientific study by the Philippines Food and Research Nutrition Institute-Department of Science and Technology with supporting studies from the US and Australia.

GI is an indicator of how fast carbohydrates convert to glucose in the blood or how fast carbohydrate turns into sugar. As a rule of thumb, the lower the GI the better, with GI 54 considered low.

In 2009, the Philippines started exporting coconut sap sugar to Japan which accounts for 53.6 percent of Philippine shipments with the US accounting for 44.4 percent.

Last year, the Philippines also shipped coconut sap sugar to the Middle East, South Korea, Hong Kong, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. — VS, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions
    Indonesia defiant as UN leads condemnation of looming executions

    Indonesia on Sunday signalled it was determined to push ahead with the execution of eight foreign drug convicts, despite a growing wave of global condemnation led by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon. Authorities on Saturday gave formal notice to the eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- that they would be executed by firing squad imminently, along with an Indonesian prisoner. The group have been moved to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan, where …

  • Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea
    Philippines urges ASEAN to stop China in South China Sea

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The Philippines on Sunday urged its fellow Southeast Asian countries to take immediate steps to halt land reclamation by China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, warning that failure to do so will see Beijing take "de facto control" of the area. …

  • Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in disputed waters
    Philippines urges Southeast Asia to rally to halt China reclamation in disputed waters

    The Philippines on Sunday called on neighbouring Southeast Asian nations to push for an immediate halt to China's reclamation in the disputed South China Sea ahead of a regional summit. China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas, with overlapping claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Recent satellite images suggest China has made rapid progress in building an airstrip suitable for military use in contested …

  • President to appeal for Filipina's life at Malaysia summit
    President to appeal for Filipina's life at Malaysia summit

    The Philippine president said Sunday he would appeal for mercy for a Filipina who is due to be executed in Indonesia in two days' time. President Benigno Aquino said he would take the opportunity to seek clemency for Mary Jane Veloso, who is due to be put to death on Tuesday, while in Malaysia for a regional summit Monday. "Once I am there, I will try to speak to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia to appeal once more for her case," Aquino said. She was arrested in 2009 with 2.6 kilograms …

  • Beijing poised for 'de facto control' of S.China Sea: Philippines
    Beijing poised for 'de facto control' of S.China Sea: Philippines

    Beijing is poised to take "de facto control" of the South China Sea, the Philippines warned on Sunday as it called on fellow Southeast Asian countries to "finally stand up" to their massive neighbour. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing claims nearly all of it and its increasingly strident assertions of its territorial ambitions have caused concern in the region and beyond. "(China) is poised to consolidate de facto control …

  • U.N. chief appeals to Indonesia not to carry out executions
    U.N. chief appeals to Indonesia not to carry out executions

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Saturday not to execute 10 prisoners, including two Australians, for drug-related crimes. Indonesia has so far informed seven of the 10 death row inmates, including the Australians and one Nigerian, that they will be executed in a matter of days, possibly as soon as Tuesday. Nationals from Brazil, Ghana and the Philippines are also on Indonesia's death row. A temporary reprieve was granted to a French citizen who will not …

  • AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys
    AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is adopting a wait and see approach amid reports that China will soon deploy seaplanes to further strengthen its maritime claims in the disputed Spratlys. Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, spokesman for the military and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said they have yet to ascertain the real purpose behind China’s continuing aggressive moves in the region. “We will wait and see before coming up with an official stand,” Kakilala said when …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options