COCOLINK 2017. (L-R) City Councilor Conrado Baluran, Davao Region Coconut Industry Cluster Inc. Chairperson Bonifacio M. Fernandez, Jr., Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Romulo J. dela Rosa and ACDI-VOCA chief of party Thelonious Trimmell lead the opening of the 2nd International Coconut Conference at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. (Robby Joy D. Salveron /

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – About 500 coconut industry stakeholders gathered at the SMX Convention Center here as the 2nd International Coconut Conference and Trade Expo commenced on Tuesday, November 7.

The largest annual confab of coconut farmers, processors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, government agencies and non-government organizations from all over the world dubbed as CocoLink 2017, aims to optimize production and business opportunities by linking farmers to local and international investors.

The event will be composed of plenary lectures on areas such as value adding, mechanization, climate change preparedness, and sharing of best practices, business models, and new technologies to further boost the industry.

Exhibitions and business matching (business to business and farmers to business sessions) will also be facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and its Export Marketing Bureau.

“With the heightening demand of coconut products across the globe it is only fitting that we convene our local farmers, manufacturers and distributors to be acquainted with international players in the coconut industry,” City Mayor Sara Duterte said in her message read by City Councilor Conrado Baluran.

Meanwhile, Thelonious Trimmell, chief of party of international development non-profit organization ACDI/VOCA, stressed that one of the challenges faced by the industry is the “decreasing production and low productivity” of coconuts.

“That is something that all processors in the industry are very concerned about and we all need to be concerned about the replanting or planting of coconuts and increase productivity of existing coconuts,” Trimmell said.

Duterte also called on the stakeholders of the coconut industry to “invest more in research and development” in order to increase profitability.

“I call to every coconut enthusiasts to invest more in research and development to further augment profitability in this business,” Duterte said.

Duterte mentioned that through the event, she is optimistic that the “local farmers will gain more insights in optimizing productivity” that will serve as an advantage for them in the market. (

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