THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Cebu has been helping coconut farmers find market access for their coconut products.

At least 100 coconut stakeholders in Carmen, Cebu joined the agency’s market orientation and dialogue on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022.

DTI-Cebu Director Rose Mae Quiñanola said the activity aims to widen the market information and opportunities of coconut farmers to engage with various Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFID) stakeholders on how the market of coconut products can be accessed.

CFIDP, which was formally launched on June 24, 2022, aims to increase the income and productivity of the 2.5 million coconut farmers in the country; promote poverty alleviation, education and social equity; and rehabilitate and modernize the Philippine coconut industry.

The dialogue in Carmen was participated in by interested buyers like the Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative Coco Hub, Phil. Mango Industry Foundation Inc. and FRL Trading.

Virginia dela Fuente, chairperson of DA-Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council Fruits and Vegetables and Phil. Mango Industry Foundation Inc., gave four nam wan coconut seedlings from Thailand to the participants.

Quiñanola said the role of DTI in the CFIDP is conduct market research and provide marketing assistance and market promotion.

Some of DTI’s marketing assistance and promotional activities are the One Town, One Product Hub, the Kalibutan Project and conduct of trade fairs.

This is the third activity of the CFIDP in Cebu after the first dialogue conducted in Tuburan, Cebu. The next dialogue will be conducted on Dec. 12 in Dalaguete, Cebu.

The country’s exports of coconut products in 2021 expanded by 58.7 percent to a four-year high of nearly US$2 billion from $1.23 billion in 2020, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA data indicated that coconut oil led all coconut products in terms of total export value last year at $1.443 billion, which was 60.5 percent higher than the $898.995 million recorded in 2020.

The value of coconut oil reached $1.614 billion in 2021, the highest since 2017. Exports receipts from coconut oil amounted to at least $1 billion.

Aside from coconut oil, the value of other coconut-based products, such as desiccated coconut and copra meal, posted double-digit growth rates. (KOC)