The Philippines Coconut Copra Industry

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Chapter I
Early Beginnings of the Philippine Copra Industry
Ronald E. Dolan stated that, “Cocos nucifera is the scientific name of common coconuts. Cocos mean “spectre goblin” or “grinning face” and Nucifera means “bearing nuts”. This very tall palm tree is always an inviting symbol of the tropics. The coconut palm is widely distributed throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific Region. Its center of origin is still under debate. However, its name was recorded in Sanskrit in early history.” Moreover, Dolan added that, “The Philippine coconut industry traces its roots to the 17th century. Since the Spanish Colonial period, the industry had been a cheap source of oils for world trade. Under Spanish Colonial rule, selected villages were required to plant coconut trees, the purpose of which was to supply the galleon trade. After the declaration of Philippine independence government intervention in the industry was nowhere to be found until and during Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship. Common to all these government interventions was the exploitation of the coconut industry and its farmers. In fact, much of the even that transpired under Martial Rule had influenced the state of the coconut industry. A coconut monopoly that exists until today was set up with the use of taxes and levies.” According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA): “coconuts harvested in the Philippines are converted into copra, which is bought from coconut plantation owners by processors, such as the Philippine Manufacturing Corporation.” Jasper Guy Woodroof added: “Copra is the trade name for dried coconut meats or kernels and is one of the chief coconut products of trade, and ranks next to soybeans as a world source of oil.” “Historically, the Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions of Luzon and the Eastern Visayas were the centers of coconut production. In the 1980s, Western Mindanao and Southern Mindanao also became important...
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