FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

GOVT SEES GOOD ’09 FOR COCO PRODUCTION (Philippines)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 27, 2008

First Posted 03:43:00 11/27/2008

by Amy R. Remo – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippine coconut production will likely expand 11 percent to 2.77 million metric tons in copra terms in 2009 from an estimated 2.5 million this year, thanks largely to a salt fertilization program, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) said Wednesday.

The program involves fertilizing farms with two kilograms of salt per tree per year for three years to increase yield by at least 25 percent, PCA Deputy Administrator Arturo Liquete said at a news briefing.

The method increases the thickness of coconut meat and the number of nuts harvested, and is also credited for making coconut trees resistant to drought, pests and diseases, he said.

Liquate said that if all programs of the PCA would be put in place this year, coconut production could reach 3.2 million metric tons in 2009, given the farms’ recovery from typhoon devastation in late 2006 and infestation by the invasive beetle (Brontispa longgisima gestro), which damaged seedlings and mature trees.

The increase in coconut production would boost coconut oil exports to as much as one million metric tons in 2009, from an estimated 850,000 this year, and 886,561 million in 2007, he added.

The Philippines is the world’s biggest supplier of coconut oil, exporting 80 percent of its output.

“There’s a slow buying this year across export products due partly to the global recession,” Liquete said.

The United Coconut Associations of the Philippines earlier said the sector would likely miss its target volume for coconut oil exports this year because of “over-expectation of the recovery of local coconut production.”

The group said that while the coconut sector did not recover as fast as expected, the export figure this year would still exceed last year’s level.

Edited by INQUIRER.net

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE PHILIPPINE BUSINESS INQUIRER’

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