EXPANSION of coconut plantations in the country will give more opportunities to local farmers, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Administrator Bernie Cruz said.

He noted there are 56 products that can be produced from coconuts, including beauty items, alcohol, soap and shampoo, coco sugar, vinegar, coco flour, and coco boards, among others. Through the expansion, production will increase and if the coconut farmers are well, their incomes will also rise, he added.

The Philippines is the leading coconut exporter in the world. It ranks third behind India and Indonesia in terms of production.

"Nakakatuwa na sa lahat ng coconut-producing countries, tayo pa rin 'yung lead, tayo 'yung tinitingnan nila na leader kasi tayo pa rin 'yung recognized ng ibang bansa as number one exporter ng coconut products (Among all the coconut-producing countries, it is very pleasing that we are still leading, they look at us as leaders, and we are still recognized by other countries as the number one exporter of coconut products)," Cruz said.

PCA Deputy Administrator Roel Rosales also noted that the coconut industry is still the top agricultural dollar earner of the country.

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"Ang coconut industry ay isa sa pinaka mahalagang agricultural industry ng ating bansa, number one agricultural exporter and dollar earner. Halos sa isang taon kumikita tayo ng 2 bilyong dolyar para sa ating national economy (The coconut industry is one of the most important agricultural industries in the country, it is the number one agricultural exporter and dollar earner. For a year, we earn almost $2 billion)," Rosales said.

Meanwhile, Cruz also mentioned that through the coco levy fund, the PCA is providing assistance to coconut farmers by providing shared facilities to cooperatives.