THE Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has presented its program for building up the potential of the country’s coconut sap sugar industry as a profitable export, which includes strategies for identifying the key issues for the production and trade of the alternative sweetener.

During the recently held First National Coconut Sap Sugar Industry Congress in Davao City, Erlene C. Manohar, PCA project development officer, presented the Strategic Approach for Promotion and Development of the Coco Sap Sugar Industry (SAPDIC) program.

“Primarily, we focused on the major issues such as the quality standards, supply and competitive pricing and the marketing,” said Ms. Manohar in a statement.

A press release from the agency detailed that the program includes the mapping of the sweetener’s major production areas throughout the country, the establishment of community-based processing plants in these parts, identifying coconut varieties ideal for sap sugar production and developing appropriate processing technologies and facilities, among others.

“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,” said PCA Administrator Euclides G. Forbes in a separate statement.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala had earlier said that the coco sap sugar industry is a “billion-dollar industry” that has a growing market worldwide, and that the department hopes to tap into this market by increasing the country’s exports of the product. -- Bettina Faye V. Roc

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