THE Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) processing plant of Cocolife Multi-Purpose Coop in Pantukan, Compostela Valley will be expanded into a village-level manufacturing plant in connection to the increasing export demand of virgin coconut oil.

Davao Region Coconut Industry Cluster, Inc. executive director Migdonio Clamor Jr. said the Cocolife Multi-Purpose Coop in Pantukan had been operating for years specifically for the production of VCO. However, in November of this year, they eye to launch and expand it into village-level manufacturing plant.

“This means they are going to utilize human resource within the village or the municipality. They are going to process the coconuts found within the community,” said Clamor, who was also a guest during the Habi at Kape weekly press conference at Abreeza Ayala Mall Wednesday, October 11.

Expansion of the operation will increase the number of nuts being processed from 2,000 nuts per day to about 10,000 to 20,000 nuts daily.

Clamor added this is because of the increasing demand of VCO especially in Japan and Korea, as well as other countries in Europe. He said this promising demand was brought about by the thriving cosmetics industry of the receiving countries. Aside from human use and consumption, VCOs are also being used for ingredients of pet foods and grooming items.

The project of expanding the existing VCO processing is being financed hand-in-hand by Cocolink, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, and the Peace and Equity Foundation.

When asked how they help address the problem of the industry with pests to protect the growing industry, especially against cocolisap, Clamor said as the problem had not been given full solution, they urge coconut farmers to observe cultural management which involves traditional regular cleaning of their farms and to apply pesticide especially when the trees are showing symptoms of cocolisap infestation.