THE PHILIPPINE Coconut Authority (PCA) should take steps to boost coconut oil production for export as the spike in palm oil’s global price presents an opportunity to compete as an alternative commodity, a lawmaker said on Monday.
Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda said in a statement the agency should use resources from the Coconut Industry Development Trust Fund to develop programs on improving export and marketing.
“I am calling on the PCA to find ways to market Philippine coconut oil as a viable alternative to palm oil as futures prices continue to rise, and to help our coconut farmers get into the export trade, or at least benefit from it,” said Mr. Salceda, vice chair of the House committee on Agriculture and Food, noting coconut products are the country’s top agricultural export.
“Coconut oil, at cost, insurance and freight, is already at $1,100, while palm oil is at $1,065. If palm oil prices tick up faster, coconut oil could become a more viable substitute,” he said.
Mr. Salceda also said improving the local supply of coconut oil would lessen palm oil smuggling. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo