PCA Eyes More Coconut Sugar Exports, Bigger Sweetener Market Share
By EDU LOPEZ
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) will aggressively promote export of coconut sap sugar, popularly called ‘coconut sugar’ aimed at getting a bigger share of a billion-dollar alternative sweetener market.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told participants of the Philippine Food Exposition that his department is crafting a master plan to promote coconut sap sugar overseas.
The agriculture department in collaboration with Philfoodex and other agri-fishery food producers, processors and exporters — will tap new and emerging exports markets, and strengthen existing ones.
The country will reinvigorate and diversify traditional farm exports like coconut oil, tropical fruits, tuna, sugar, and abaca, among others, said.Alcala.
For emerging markets, the Philippines is eyeing at the following countries: South Korea for avocados, after we allowed the entry of Korean paprika into the Philippines; China for bangus or milkfish, as Alsons Aquaculture Corp., based in Sarangani, sent an initial shipment of nine tons of bangus to Xiamen; Japan and Malaysia, for pork; and South Korea, for chicken.
For livestock and poultry, “we will bank on our FMD- and bird flu-freedom to expand our markets in Asia, Middle East and the rest of the world,” said Alcala.
“These are just some of our initiatives meant to support the continued growth and prosperity of the food, agribusiness and agriculture industry.”
Alcala commended Philfoodex as this year’s theme – “From farm to fork: The best Philippine food prod-ucts of the world’ –runs parallel with the Aquino administration’s over-all strategy to achieve food security, boost agri-fishery investments and raise rural incomes, as part of the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.
To achieve said goals, the agriculture department implements various initiatives across its five major com-modity programs – rice, corn, high value crops, livestock and fisheries – in partnership with the private sector, LGUs, farmers’ and fishers’ groups, NGOs and POs, academe, and other concerned agencies, including international funding institutions.
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