DAVAO CITY— The Davao Region Coconut Industry Cluster, Inc. (DRCICI) in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Department of Trade and Industry will hold the COCOLINK: International Coconut Conference on July 27-29.

DRCICI Chair Reynaldo Go said on Monday, June 27, during this week’s Kapehan sa Dabaw, that the conference will invite not only farmers but also local and international players in the coconut production and marketing industry.

The conference which seeks to address the challenges and optimize opportunities through cooperation among Philippine coconut industry players, will likewise invite three speakers, one of which is from India and others from the local setting on product conceptualization, wherein, said Go, there are many other products from the coconut aside from copra and its oil.

Although the region is “number one” in coconut production with 67 nuts per tree per year, Go says that this is still low compared to other countries.

“Bridging Industries… Sustainability,” the conference’s theme means the gathering of all the stakeholders of the coconut industry to be in one location to the issues and concerns related to the coconut industry and what the recommendations will be, said DTI- Davao del sur provincial director Delia Ayano.

The event which involves local and global partners in the coconut value chain will run an exhibition for two days: July 27 to July 28. And on July 29, the 3rd National Coco Coir summit will be held. Ayano said that visitors which will participate are from other countries, to talk about their coconut industries as well.

“We believe [that the] convergence is one of the strategies for the development that’s why DTI is included in support to the Davao Region Coconut Industry Cluster,” Ayano said.

The executive director of the export marketing bureau will also be present to talk about opportunities. Business matching will also take place wherein, said Ayano, it will be conducted one on one toward the target of sales and “to be able to have a lasting relationship with the export buyers.”

PCA Division Chief III Rosella Villaruel said that low farms’ productivity continues to be one major problem in the coconut industry, but the PCA seeks to improve farms’ productivity through planting high-yielding varieties, and fertilization.

Another issue, mentioned Go is low income for coconut farmers. “Mubo ang income sa coconut farmer. So gusto nato ipakita nga if maayo pagkamaintain sa farm, ang yield mosaka, ang income mosaka (The coconut farmer’s income is low. We want to show that if the farms are well-maintained, the yield and the income will increase),” Go said.

He added that this can be addressed through “inter-cropping” which will be promoted in the summit. (davaotoday.com)

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