Eng Seng Food Products President John Tan shows-off the fresh young coconuts ready for export to China market.

China, the world’s largest market is now opening its doors to Philippine coconut products particularly fresh young coconut or buko.

This came after complying with the export protocol of the Chinese government which allows entry of Philippine coconuts from the Mindanao and Leyte province.

A Davao-based company, Eng Seng Food Products in coordination with the Department of Agriculture in Region 11 (DA-11) and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will ship 48 tons or 36,000 pieces of aromatic coconuts to Guangzhou and Xiamen, China today.

“The shipment was made possible after the signing of a contract with a China-based company, the China Artex Corporation Fujian Company,” said Eng Seng Food Products President John Tan.

In April this year, President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the contract signing between the two parties during the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China stating of a one-year supply of 64.5M metric tons of young coconuts.

Tan said Filipino farmers could expand their aromatic variety coconuts as there is a huge market in China due to its distinct taste and aroma.

DA-11 Regional Director Ricardo Oñate, Jr. Oñate urges the farmers in the region to take advantage of the huge demand of aromatic coconut in China.

He is also encouraging farmers to plant aromatic coconut in ancestral domain areas to maximize its potentials for agricultural development.

“We want to target 60 containers weekly but due to lack of supply, we decreased it to only 15 containers,” Tan said, adding that DA-11 will help in linking coconut farmers that want to sell their coconuts so he can meet the demand of the China market.

Tan is also interested in signing a long term marketing agreement with other Filipino coconut farmers while the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) can provide the coconut seedlings and technical assistance to interested farmers. (Feliz Amanda C. Lim, DA-11)