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P321-M coconut processing plant to rise in Palawan

By: Roy Stephen C. Canivel
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:07 AM February 28, 2017
http://business.inquirer.net/225368/p321-m-coconut-processing-plant-rise-palawan

Lionheart GPPAC Farmers Corp. will soon build a P321-million coconut processing plant integrated with a hybrid coconut plantation in Palawan, the Board of Investments (BOI) said on Monday.

In a statement, the BOI said the project was approved under the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), making Lionheart a new exporter of virgin coconut oil, coconut flour and tender green coconuts.

In its first year, BOI said the company would develop 2,400 hectares of hybrid coconut plantation, eventually expanding it to 4,600 hectares.

To date, the firm has planted 100,000 hybrid coconut trees.

With the processing plant also expected to be built in the first year, BOI said the company would source its raw materials from the sales of nearby coconut farmers and cooperatives until the expected harvest.

“This will further boost the country’s exports of coconut and its byproducts which are now in demand in other countries,” said Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo in a statement.

BOI said the firm would produce virgin coconut oil at 883,200 kilograms (kg) annually, coconut flour at 76,800 kg, and tender green coconuts at 50.6 million units.

These would then be exported to the United States, Europe, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The output from Lionheart will be a welcome addition to a segment of exports that barely improved in 2016, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA data showed that the export value of coconut products inched up by 0.4 percent to $1.41 billion in 2016 from $1.4 billion in 2015.

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