The Philippines should seize a P21 billion coconut fiber market in China and the Asia Pacific that will have a multi-billion ripple effect on the economy or miss this opportunity within the next two to three years if the technology is captured by a more aggressive competitor.
Dr. Justino R. Arboleda, chief executive officer of pioneering Filipino coconut fiber firm Coco Technologies Corp., said a global trend toward the use of natural fiber as a shift from the less environment-friendly synthetic fibers brings tremendous potential for the Philippines to advance its coconut comparative advantage.
The coconut fiber market requires a total of 56,000 metric tons (MT) monthly in four neighboring countries of which 30,000 MT is eaten up by China alone. Other coconut fiber- buying neighboring countries are Korea, needing 8,500 MT: Taiwan, 16,000MT; and Japan, 2000MT.
And yet, the Philippines only produced 19,000 MT of coconut fiber for the entire 2004 “ which is eaten up by China in less one month. “
Dr. Justino Arboleda, dean of the Bicol University College of Agriculture, won one of the Global 100 Eco-Tech Awards which aims at promoting the role of technology in sustainable development and protection of the environment.
“Dr. Arboleda gets the award, and the Philippines the honors,” said Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano who cited the scientists victory as a boost to the government’s campaign to promote the country as a nature destination for Japanese tourists.
Excellence in Exports
Inspiring Players in the export industries
It has given recognition to the most outstanding companies that did extremely well in the export industry. It never failed to take noticed of the organizations that made a difference and helped uplift the level of businesses in the country to compete with international counterparts.
Guinobatan, Albay Determined to help poor farmers, an agriculture engineer trained his eye on a waste product and created not only a source of livelihood but a product that helps the environment.
Justino Arboleda, 54, created a soil erosion control net or coconet out of coconut husks which used to be treated as waster materials.
Arboleda developed coconet under his business venture, the Juboken Enterprise, located at Barangay Gapo in Camalig town.
Established in 1995, Juboken is now the number one exporter of the soil erosion control net.
Its present markets are Japan, China, Europe, Germany, and the United States of America.
Eco-protect Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Multi chemi Group introduced an innovative and environmentally friendly method of erosion control using coir based erosion control products recently for the first time in Sri Lanka. This technology was unveiled at a seminar titled “ Eco Friendly Erosion Control System Using Coir Products “ at the Trans Asia Hotel.
Though Sri Lanka is one of the largest exporters of coir and coir based products in the world this technology was never applied here for erosion control which is a burning issue.
This venture would boost the local industry and would be an effective way of controlling soil erosion.
Coconut fibre usage has become very common among professionals in various industries due to its versatility. In the horticultural industry, agricultural industry, or erosion control industry, coir has established a remarkable reputation for its superiority to other available natural materials. Compared to the horticultural and agricultural industries, coir is new to the erosion control industry.
Recognition of coir in the erosion control industry is because it is an abundant, renewable, natural resource with an extremely slow decomposition rate and a high strength and compared to other natural fibre. Coco fibres are derived from the husks of coconut.