The Philippine coconut industry is a formidable pillar of the national, economic and cultural heritage of the country. It is a source of valuable commodity and a renewable asset, vital components to the building of a strong nation. The coconut tree is called the tree of life for its myriad uses to humanity. Coconut Consumption 79% of total production goes to exports and 21% for domestic consumptions. From 1990-1997, domestic consumption grew by 3. 6% annually, while exports grew by an average of 2%. At current prices, coconut products are among the top ten agricultural exports in the country.
On the average, the Philippines exports 80% of total coconut output. Coconut products account for the biggest share of the country’s agricultural commodity exports. The Philippines is among the world’s largest producers and exporters of coconut products. It accounts for 23% of world production and 59% of world exports. Until recently, the country used to supply more than 80% of the world’s total export requirements for coconut products.
The Philippines also holds the distinction of being the top exporter of coconut oil in the world. The coconut industry contributes about 6% to the country’s agriculture gross value added (GVA) and 1. % to gross national product (GNP). The Philippines is the largest exporter of coconut products and the second largest producer of coconut in the world, after Indonesia. The Philippine coconut industry is a vital natural resource abundant in the countryside. If properly harnessed, it can be the driving force to attain sustainable and equitable agro-industrial development, consistent with the national strategy to deliver from poverty and uplift the quality of life of millions of Filipino coconut farmers and their families. ‘Other benefits of the coconut industry are as follows:
FOOD AND FUEL SECURITY * Will guarantee decent minimum sustenance for millions of households in coconut communities. In times of fuel crisis, the country can draw from its indigenous, renewable and environment-friendly energy source, the coconut. ECOLOGY * Will conserve and promote sustainable and ecologically sound agro-industrial development of the industry. INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND INVESTMENT * The Philippines can keep its leadership and regain the pride of the coconut industry, as the number one and most reliable and long-term producer of coconut products in the world market.
The industry can continue as a leading and stable source of foreign exchange with new and high value products. PEACE AND ORDER * Will largely support our national aspiration for a just and lasting peace. Political stability in these areas will reinforce and accelerate development of the industry. ASEAN REGIONAL COMPLEMENTATION * The industry can be a common focus to foster economic cooperation and promote the cause of ASEAN, peace, trade, and investment in the region.