BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
STRONG niche markets are emerging for Virgin Coconut Oil which is described as the fastest growing product with high value on the global market, it is reported.
The Asia and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) in a Pacific Coconut Community workshop here recently said Virgin Coconut Oil is now the fastest growing product in Asia-Pacific and globally.
The prices range from USD$4,000 to USD$6,000 and MT FOB Manila, with consumers also becoming increasingly aware of its health benefits which causes the hike in demand, APCC said.
APCC also adds, demand for coconut continues to grow high and Pacific island country members under the APCC need to prepare and think of re-planting coconut trees.
APCC Director General Dr Uron Salum said the market on coconut globally is growing, meaning someone out there is paying the product of coconut in terms of oil, drinking and eating.
“It’s the most precedes drink to have, what happening now is market is going up, there’s no sign of market going down. Situation going now globally is coconut production is decline,” Salum said.
In the meantime, Salum said Philippines is the highest producer of virgin coconut oil with export rate growing from 103 metric tonnes in 2003 to 36,332 MT in 2015.
Export earning explored from USD$8.34 Million in 2011 to USD$129 Million in 2015 reaching over 42 export destination, he adds.
Salum said for US markets of Virgin Coconut Oil it accounts to 59.7 percent, Netherlands 10.1 percent, Canada 8.5 percent and balance to Europe, China, Japan, Singapore, Australia and South East Asia.
With this figure, Salum encourages the coconut sector in Solomon Islands that coconut production plays pivotal role for the country and future of coconut processing industry which is one of the highest thing to watch for.
“My request to Solomon Islands is turn around and use coconut because it is the oldest crop in this country and people know it, use it as proper catalyst for development to socio-economic, social and cash economic development,” Salum said.
Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration Mr Riley Mesepitu said they will collaborate with Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to look at ways to revive coconut industry here.
He said country already has sectors in place but the challenge is production which is crucial to work closely with local farmers and re-planting coconut trees.
Meseputi also adds challenge country including farmers currently face is the invasive rhino beetle but it is area to consider seriously.