PCA, PARTNERS DRAW STRATEGIES TO SUSTAIN COCO SAP SUGAR INDUSTRY
The Philippine Coconut Authority is continuously harnessing the potential of coconut sap sugar to be the next billion dollar industry after successfully holding the First National Coconut Sap Sugar Industry Congress held in Davao City.
Major issues and concerns raised during the congress were tackled in a post congress consultative meeting held recently at PCA Executive Lounge. Administrator Euclides G. Forbes emphasized that PCA, together with the other government agencies and private sectors involved, are working hand-on-hand to come up with strategies and unified plans to address those issues and concerns raised.
The Administrator bared that one of the strategies that PCA will undertake is the Public-Private Partnership. It aims to help the producers to benefit from the industry through piloting trading centers in each province with coco sugar. "We are to organize a technical working group and enhance the synergies among the major key players that will spearhead and put into action the plans and proposed programs for industry development," he said. He also noted that Region 12 expressed the initiative to organize a regional technical working group. The growing industry of coco sap sugar has also attracted the interest of new investors who attended the congress.
On hand, experts and representatives from the government sector such as Food and Nutrition Research Institute - Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), Industrial Technology Development Institute - Department of Science and Technology (ITDI-DOST), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions - Department of Trade and Industry (CITEM-DTI), Department of Agriculture - Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Services (DA-AMAS), Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Agriculture and Fishery Products Standards (DA-BAFPS), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the private sector such as Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP), SYTHE Global attended the said event.
During the consultative meeting, Ms. Erlene C. Manohar, Chairman of the congress, presented the Strategic Approach for Promotion and Development of the Coco Sap Sugar Industry (SAPDIC) Program as a vital output of the Congress. She explained that this program has the following components: a) mapping of production areas and establishment of community-based processing plants; b) identification of coconut varieties ideal for sap sugar production; c) development of economically feasible processing technologies and equipment/facilities; d) market promotion and development based on demand projections, and e) formulation of accreditation and regulatory systems for quality certified coconut sap sweeteners and other sap-based products. "Primarily, we focused on the major issues such as the quality standards, supply and competitive pricing and the marketing," Manohar added.
"We are looking forward for the positive outcome of this industry especially that we are gaining support from the government and there's the surging trend of the interests of the business sectors," Administrator Forbes lauded.
Meanwhile, Manohar, being the Chairman, said that there will be a follow up meeting to finalize and prioritize the action programs.
Low glycemic index (GI) classification of coco sap sugar which is 35 boosts its market demand as an alternative sweetener especially for diabetics.
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