In the light of an anticipated marketing deal with a Russian business entity, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol has called the attention anew of the country’s Coconut Oil Mills and Traders to increase the buying price of copra, lest they be excluded from engaging in this multinational business transaction.

Based on his social media post on March 6, 2019, the Agriculture chief noted that this was necessary to help address the plight of local Coconut farmers, whose livelihood activities have been adversely affected given the decline in the price of copra due to the supply glut of vegetable oil in the global market.

He also added that although there are those that heeded his appeal to set the buying price of copra to at least PhP25 per kilo, there is still a significant number of trader groups that have yet to agree to this request.   

This has been supported by several organizations in the local coconut industry, including the National Sectoral and Strategic Concerns Committees- Committee on Coconut of the DA’s Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF). In turn, these groups called on the attention of the DA head in addressing this concern.  

Secretary Piñol also noted that those who fail to increase their buying price will be excluded from a budding business deal in Eastern Europe, which is expected to provide a new market for Coconut and other agricultural products from the Philippines.

“If your buying price is below PhP25, as we have earlier agreed, you will be excluded from this supply deal in Eastern Europe,” stated Secretary Piñol in his post.

The DA recently hosted a Russian investor in which the latter signified his company’s interest to import Coconut products from the Philippines.

The investor also disclosed the potential of Eastern Europe, given the preference of its population in gearing towards a healthy lifestyle.

To ensure compliance to this directive, Secretary Piñol shall be instructing the DA’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) to monitor the buying price for Copra and whole Coconuts.

He also foresees gain for Filipino Coconut Oil Mills and Traders once the deal for the Eastern European market has been finalized, given the anticipated demand of the products.

“As the demand in Eastern Europe grows, we will also expect you (Coconut Oil Mills and Traders) to increase your buying price. I believe this is just fair,” said Secretary Piñol.-AE