I was surprised when I read this headline on Business World website. Isn’t it wonderful to know how a low priced product can be so effective in building pieces for a nation! The business world report says,” the regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao, Philippines is looking at coco coir and cocopeat as possible commodities that could be shipped to help Japan’s rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts”
Philippines mainly ships cocopeat to Japan, which is used for animal feeds, fertilizers and sometimes beddings for the animal pens. Coco peat, also referred to as coir dusts, are by product of producing coco coir. Out of one husk, only 30% of that can be processed as coco coir. The rest is for the cocopeat.
Marizon S. Loreto, the trade regional director added that there are 18 producers of coco coir in Davao region which is exported as raw material to China and Japan to make geo textiles and mats. Coco coir prevents soil erosion which could prove crucial to stabilize the still porous grounds in some areas hit by the tsunami in Japan.
According to Mindano times, The Philippines is the largest producer of coconut products in the world, with Mindanao as the predominant player planting more than 1.5 million of its lands to coconut. That’s nearly double than what Luzon currently produces and more than double than Visayas.
On a recent note, Department of Agriculture, DTI and the Philippine Coconut Authority are organizing coco coir summit in Davao City on 31st of March. The Summit, which is expected to gather 200 industry stakeholders throughout the country, will highlight coco coir (fibre from coconut husk) and peat (dust from coconut husk).
Belinda Q. Ambi, director of the DTI-Davao Oriental field office, said China is gobbling up all the regional production of coco coir and cocopeat products, importing at least 90 percent of the total, with Japan as a distant second, sharing the remaining 10% with Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
She further adds, the demand for coco coir is growing especially with the proposal of the Department of Public Works and Highways to require the use of the material for soil erosion and riverbank enhancement in its infrastructure projects.
If coir has the power to build broken Japan again, then in my opinion, the leading producers of coir like India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and China should come forward and support Japan in its worst disaster without prioritizing monetary benefits!