Coconut Festival Set at Megamall
MANILA, Philippines -- The latest developments in the coconut industry will be showcased during the 10th Coconut Festival which will be held at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City on August 25-28.
The event will highlight the versatility of the cotonut through exhibits of various food and non-food products and byproducts by traders from all over the country, said PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes.
He said that this year's celebration will provide a venue for information sharing, trading and market matching activities which will promote business opportunities from the coconut to attest that indeed the coconut is the Tree of Life.
There will be free lectures on the latest technology and product updates.
One focus of the festival will be the opportunities in utilizing the coconut husk for making into geotextiles and organic fertilizers. According to Agriculture Sec. Proceso J. Alcala, the country could generate revenues of at least $225 million annually by processing the husks into these high-value products.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Coco Coir Exporters Association (Philcoir) headed by Ariel Aguirre has presented a position paper that will ensure the sustainability of the industry. The group has aired some serious concerns.
The group urged the government to ensure that coconut trees around the country remain healthy, strong and high-yielding. Fertilization of coconut trees - using, among others, coco peat or coir dust, must be a high priority program. The use of coco peat as an ideal soil conditioner for coconut farms resulting in higher yields has long been proven in research in India and Sri Lanka.
The group noted that coco coir dust has also been found in the Philippines to be a good soil conditioner as well as primary raw material for making organic fertilizer. …