03/07/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/06/2019 22:20
Author: DA-AFID | 7 March 2019
'INCREASE COPRA BUYING PRICE
OR YOU'RE OUT OF THIS DEAL'
As early as last year, when the buying price of Copra, the main source of livelihood of our Coconut farmers, dropped, I met with many of you and appealed for help by setting an agreed buying price of at least P25 per kilo.
I asked that favour from you while I was working hard on two other options:
1. Convince the Department of Energy to increase the coconut oil content of our bio-diesel from 2% to 5%;
2. Suggest the imposition of tariff on imported Palm Olein which has increased by 900% over the last three years.
Obviously, these options are very challenging as I expected a lot of opposition.
Some of you heeded by appeal to increase your buying price but most of you did not.
Not even when the farmers were already crying that they could not even earn enough to pay for the workers did you listen to my plea.
With God's grace and the support of dedicated friends, however, we now see a light at the end of the tunnel.
It is in fact a very bright light.
A Monaco-based Russian businessman, Igor Malyshkov, whose friends and associates own a chain of 15,000 supermarkets in Eastern Europe including the Russian Federation has helped us open this huge market.
I will, however, make sure that only those who are willing to help the Coconut farmers will be included in this Eastern European Marketing deal.
I will persuade Malyshkov and his group to exclude the greedy and the heartless among you, especially those who exploited the farmers.
By next week, I will direct the Marketing Group of the Department of Agriculture to monitor your buying price for Copra and whole Coconuts.
If your buying price is below P25, as we have earlier agreed, you will be excluded from this supply deal in Eastern Europe.
As the demand in Eastern Europe grows, we will also expect you to increase your buying price.
I believe this is just fair.
You have a few days to adjust your buying price. This is just a friendly reminder.
Secretary of Agriculture
(Article taken from the Official FB Page of DA Secretary Manny Piñol, and photos were downloaded from public websites)