Agri chief eyes inclusive growth for the Philippine coconut industry
Photo: Agriculture Secretary William Dar at the World Coconut Congress in Manila

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar is banking on international cooperation, economic alliances and sharing of knowledge, best practices, and technologies as the best route for success and prosperity in the context of current global developments, to level up the country’s coconut industry.

According to the Agriculture chief, Filipino coconut farmer remains among the most important pillars of the country’s agricultural economy.

“Millions of Filipinos rely on the coconut industry for regular employment and earnings,” he said.

The Secretary added that the potential of the industry has not been maximized with challenges it faces, including low productivity due to pest attacks, prevalence of typhoons and poor management practices, and the very low copra prices.

“And with the unorganized value chain, coco farmers earn very low income,” he stressed.

During the opening ceremonies of the 2nd World Coconut Congress at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on August 27, 2019, Dar presented the new vision and mission of DA anchored on the “New Thinking for Agriculture.”

Dar emphasized the need to treat agriculture as an industry, improve the value chain system, and craft a framework for digitalization.

“Our goal is to make our farmers and fishers prosperous, while pushing for a thriving globally-competitive agriculture sector,” he said.

The Department is pressing for the big brother-small brother mentorship program where big companies will be asked to help smaller ones grow and prosper.

The Secretary recognizes the vital linkage and cooperation of the private sector and development partners in the development of the coconut industry.

“It is high time that we scale up our partnership to the various convergence points,” he said.

The 2nd World Coconut Congress, was organized by the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines, and was enjoined by the respective ministers of the International Coconut Community, heads of delegations, and partners from the private sector, here and abroad, exhibitors, and congress participants.