PHL to build 6 coconut processing facilities

The Department of Agriculture is pushing to build the first two of six integrated coconut-processing facilites this year for coco oil, water and other products.

Plans are afoot and the department is trying to make the final blueprint for the factories.

"I think we have to try one or two within this year... And then next year we will establish four additional plants," Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told reporters on Monday."If ever the money from the coco levy will be released, then maybe we can use some for expansion," he added.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has allotted P50 million for each processing plant, and PCA Deputy Administrator Carlos Carpio said in a separate interview that Capiz and Agusan were being eyed as sites for the processing plants.

"There are a lot of mining companies there and they are using coconut to rehabilitate some portions of the mined areas,” Carpio said. “We still have to see because putting up this kind of facility is not that easy as there are a lot of products," he added.

Government data showed Philippine coconut exports rose 14.98 percent to $746.3 million in the first five months of the year from $649 million a year earlier, largely boosted by higher demand for coco oil.

In volume terms, coco exports

totaled 1.023 million metric tons (MT) from 570,000 MT in the same comparable period. — VS, GMA news

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