Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Ampalaya Industry Profile

The coconut industry is an important sector of agriculture in the Philippines. With 69 out of 82 provinces in the country producing coconut, the industry has a total production area of 3.62 million hectares and provides an estimate of 2.5 million farmers with employment. Moreover, the Philippines has over 347 million fruit-bearing trees and a total production (mt) of 14.7 million (nut terms) in 2018. As of 2015, domestic consumption of coconut in copra terms was 0.835 million metric tons (Philippine Coconut Authority, 2018). The Philippines also remains to be the second-largest producer of coconut among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), wherein it comprises almost 40% of ASEAN’s total coconut production (FAOStat, 2018). Major producers of coconut in the Philippines include the regions of CALABARZON, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, and Northern Mindanao. Being referred to as the “tree of life” due to its wide array of uses, coconut is mainly exported as products like virgin coconut oil (VCO) and desiccated coconut.

Problems in the Industry

In the past, the coconut industry has experienced various challenges ranging from low production to natural calamities and pest infestations. Certain studies pointed to low productivity being caused by old and senile coconut trees. On the other hand, historical disasters, specifically typhoons Pablo and Yolanda in 2012 and 2013, also instigated massive damages on coconut farms and other key players within the coconut supply chain. The industry further faced numerous infestations from coconut scale insects (CSI), locally known as cocolisap, which were first observed in 2010. The cocolisaps feed on the leaves, fruits and flowers of the coconut tree leaving only the trunk. This disables the production of coconuts, and the remaining use of the tree would simply be as coco-lumber. Although replanting of coconut trees is the immediate solution for the abovementioned problems, it will still take several years for them to reach the optimum maturity for production.

Coconut Policies

Coconut Programs

Data Source: Philippine Statistics Authority. 1990-2022.

ISP for Ampalaya

PCAARRD ISP on Coconut aims to address low productivity due to existing coconut stands predominantly with old and senile palms, coconut farms devastation due to typhoon throughout the country, and coconut scale insect infestation in CALABARZON, Basilan, and Zamboanga.

Strategic R&D


Technology Transfer Initiatives

Capacity Building

Infrastructure Development

Manpower Development

Capacity building on Coconut Genomics Program

Policy Research & Advocacy

Competitiveness of Philippine Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

Producing VCO in the Philippines is competitive in terms of exports and import substitution. This implies that the country earns foreign exchange from exporting VCO. There is also no need to import said product from other countries because producing it is domestically cheaper. As long as the average yield (4.84 mt/ha in 2017) does not decrease by 54 percent, or domestic cost does not grow by 102 percent, the country will still be able to sustain its competitiveness in exporting VCO.