PCA Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. has invited businessmen to invest in the Philippine coconut industry to increase exports and provide the coconut farmers livelihood thereby lifting them from poverty.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 35th National Coconut Week held virtually on August 3, 2021, Administrator Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. sought the investments as he shared that despite the continuous challenges brought by the pandemic, the coconut industry sees opportunities and favorable developments happening as PCA pursues its commitment to be a globally recognized institution championing a market-driven industry.

Madrigal mentioned that with the passage of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, PCA has launched the Coconut Farmers and Industry Roadmap which will serve as the backbone of the Development Plan currently being crafted as required by the said law. “This roadmap will provide the general direction for farmers’ welfare and industry development towards sustainable and equitable gains, especially for the benefit of the smallholder coconut farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” he added.

In this year’s coconut week celebration, PCA will hold a two-day investment forum to promote the value addition of coconut and increase awareness on possible investment prospects brought by new technologies for coconut processing that are ready for commercialization. International and local buyers are also invited for business-to-business matching sessions with the local suppliers providing opportunity for farmer organizations to bring the Philippine coconut products to the global market. “With this forum, we will link our farmer organizations to investment and business opportunities elevating them to become coconut farmer-entrepreneurs or “cocopreneurs.” Tulong-tulong natin palakasin ang mga negosyanteng magniniyog, ang ating kaagapay tungo sa maunlad na ekonomiya,” Madrigal said.

The public is invited to attend the “CocoKwentuhan sa Negosyo” webinar series which will feature and dissect success stories of farmers’ cooperative-led, LGU-led, and organization-led enterprises highlighting the important role of partnership and convergence among coconut farmer organizations, LGUs, private sector, organized industry, and other stakeholders.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar remarked that coconut continues to be a major agricultural export commodity in the country, contributing nearly 4.7% or roughly PhP84.4 billion to the agricultural and fishing sector GVA in the year 2018-2019. “Let’s continue working together, to reach tangible and sustainable results as producers and consumers of coconut products. As we continue to nurture this industry, we strive to innovate and work together as one in order to achieve economic prosperity, particularly among the coconut farming communities,” the Agri chief urged.

The 35th National Coconut Week celebration will run until August 27, 2021. For more information and updates, visit nationalcoconutweek.com. (DA-PCA)