Typhoon Yolanda did not only destroy life and property, but it also weakened one of the most important industries in the country – coconut farming.
According to an industry official, since Philippines is one of the biggest suppliers of coconut oil, it has a high probability for supplies to fall next year after millions of trees were destroyed because of the killer typhoon.
Providing more than 40 percent of the world’s coconut oil, now the Philippine coconut oil supply was reduced to only 10-15 percent of the country’s output.
Yvonne Agustin, executive director of the industry group, United Coconut Association of the Philippines (UCAP), said that the effect of the super typhoon Yolanda to the coconut industry will be evident next year, especially when we look at exports of coconut oil.
She added that prices of commodities are expected to increase, especially for products that depend on coconut oil as key ingredients such as cosmetics, soap, fuels, and health drinks. She did not mention how much supply will be lost though since it would depend on the extent of the damage to the Philippine trees.
However, while the number of damaged trees soared to millions, most were not uprooted and the crown of leaves were not cut off so it is possible that they can still recover and resume bearing fruit within three to four years after the devastation.
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) meanwhile did not comment on the possibility of the country’s coconut exports to decrease but the spokesman made it clear that the number of the damaged trees only represent one percent of the country’s estimated total of about 340 million trees.
Still, authorities have yet to file a clear and final report and we are only left to wait and be prepared for more possible industrial and economical aftermath from the devastation.