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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, February 24, 2011
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Negrense producers batting
for more coco sugar markets

The Marfori-Consing Farms generated P2.4 million in gross income in a year from two hectares of coconut plantation used to produce coco sugar, Negros business partners Lope Consing and Rafael Monfort said yesterday.

Coco sugar is made from the coconut toddy, or “tuba,” which is good for diabetics, weight control and maintenance, and helps reduce bad cholesterol, Consing said.

Two hectares of coconut plantation produces over one ton of coco sugar monthly which translates to P200,000, Monfort said.

He also said the farm has 200 hectares of coconut plantation and they invested two hectares for coco sugar production.

The idea is to diversify crop production and fully make use of the potential of coconut plant, he added.

“We saw the potential of coco sugar that is why we currently seek permit and approval from the Bureau of Food and Drugs to export the product in the United States of America and European countries,” Consing said.

Monfort explained that, although they produce for local consumption, there is not enough market for coco sugar because its cost of production is a bit expensive.

Compared to cane sugar that is sold at P60 per kilo, coco sugar costs P200, when sold at farm gate price and P400 when retailed, he added.

The local market targets health conscious people, wellness centers, and other specialized markets but there are only a few of them. But coco sugar will surely sell in the international market because there is a distinct target market, Consing also said.

“Once the permit is approved and markets are identified, we will also push for organic accreditation,” Monfort said.

“Even if the farm is in Region XI, we still carry the vision of Negros Occidental to become the organic bowl of the country and it means bringing the organic technology to every farm we own, even outside the province,” Consing added.

Meanwhile, the Marifori-Consing Farms is now going into intercropping and integrated farming. Consing said they are planning to use sugarcane as intercrop of the coconut plant.

If this happens, they will be the first farm to apply such technology in Region XI, he added.

They also encourage Negros coconut planters to go into coco sugar production, pointing out that they can always ask for assistance from the Philippine Coconut Authority.

PCA also helped Marfori-Consing Farms when they started the coco sugar production last year, Consing added.

Consing also owns 30 hectares of sugarcane plantation in Cadiz City and Monfort is the Negros Occidental Magsasaka-Siyentista of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Farmers’ Information and Technology Services Center.*LTG



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