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DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Key players of the coconut industry here are looking forward to further optimize production and business opportunities by tying up with local and international investors who will participate in the largest annual international coco conference in November.

Cocolink 2017, the second international coconut conference and trade expo, will bring in 500 to 800 industry stakeholders, researchers, entrepreneurs and policy makers from all over the world on November 7-9 at the SMX Convention Center here.

Migdonoi Clamor Jr., executive director of Davao Region Coconut Industry Cluster, Inc. (DRCICI), told reporters on Wednesday, October 11, the event will enable local farmers to “upscale production and sustainability” by establishing partnerships with other sectors.

CocoLink will be composed of business-to-business matching opportunity between local suppliers and international buyers facilitated by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Export Marketing Bureau.

Farmers will also learn new technologies and good practices as part of their capacity building.

Clamor cited the possibility of bringing in supermarket operators to cater products of local farmers and processors that could not enter the export market.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Davao region is the top coconut producing region in the country. Davao contributed a total of 14.5 percent of the 3.21 million metric tons produced from April to June 2017.

However, many farmers lost chances to upgrade because of the “limited support given to them”, Clamor said. He also cited the damage brought by climate change also caused the decrease of coconut farm lands in the region.

“Farm lands are converted into residential, industrial and other agricultural crops with very promising income and profit to farmers,” Clamor said.

Thus, the need to provide coconut farmers a venue to discuss and gain support from various sectors is important, he added.(

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