A PHILIPPINE Coconut Authority (PCA) official announced that Zamboanga City's production of copra, including food nuts, might drop next year due to dry spell brought about by El Niño.

PCA Manager Romeo Enriquez said the drop in production is particularly due to the forecasted late rainy season in the country.

Enriquez said the coconut trees would suffer water stress and will affect the production of fruits.

Each coconut tree needs as much as 1,006 milliliters of rainfall to sustain fruit production, he said.

Data gathered by the PCA showed that Zamboanga City, which has around 30,000 hectares of coconuts, produces about 17,000 metric tons of copra annually.

The city likewise produces annually 658,000 metric tons of food nuts that are sold in the market.

At present, Enriquez said the production of copra and food nuts of Zamboanga City remains stable.

He said the PCA has introduced measures to coconut farmers to counter the effects of the El Niño phenomenon.

The measures are aimed to sustain the present coconut production in the city, Enriquez said.