The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Eastern Visayas called the attention of national agencies and local government units to promote consumption of coconut juice so that coconut farmers’ income will increase.
Coconut water or also known as buko juice is the clear liquid inside coconuts (fruits of the coconut palm). This liquid endosperm obtained from a young, green coconut contains 94% water and very little fat. Aside from that, buko juice provides an impressive amount of nutrition and benefits your overall health.
According to the report of Philippine News Agency report, coconut farmers are heavily affected by the drop in copra prices.
Currently, young coconuts can be purchased from farmers of P10 each and sellers from the market can sell it from P20 to P25 each.
Last Wednesday, Jeffrey De Los Reyes, PCA Regional Manager told the reporters during the Summer Buko Fest held at the PCA regional office that serving buko juice is one way of focusing the attention of people in the region who are dependent on the coconut industry.
“Our call to government officials is to serve coconut water in all our activities instead of soda drinks to support our local coconut industry. Let us be ambassadors of the coconut sector,” he said.
Delos Reyes added that if at least half of the Eastern Visayas’ more than four million populations will be able to consume buko juice every day, coconut farmers will receive an additional PHP 20-million per day income in the said region.
“If one-half of our population will drink buko everyday, it will be a big help to our farmers. With the help of LGUs, let’s make buko available even in subdivisions,” he added.
According to PCA, the farm gate price of the copra has dropped to PHP 11 per kilogram this week from last year’s PHP 21 per kilogram. Copra is the dried coconut shell where premium oil is obtained. After oil extraction, the remaining make the coconut cakes, which is mainly used as livestock feeds.
Based on the estimation, nearly two million of the four million population of the region rely on coconut farming and the decreased in the price of copra affects 367,234 coconut farmers in the Eastern Visayas region.
Delos Reyes also urged the local government officials to facilitate the trading of their products in commercial centers and explore other opportunities apart from copra.
“Since coconut is considered as a tree of life, we want to send a message to our farmers that there is more money from coconut other than copra production,” he said.