By Irish O. Alonzo
TACLOBAN CITY, June 13 (PNA) – While coconut farmers are still reeling from the impacts of the 2013 catastrophe, a buko (young coconut) vendor is earning more than the pre-typhoon level.
For Jennifer Icao, owner of Del’s Buko Haus, just across the city’s convention center, life is better now due to high demand of buko and less competitors.
“Before the typhoon Yolanda, we were earning Php 1,000 a day and now, our daily income went up to Php 4,000,” Icao shared.
It took them eight months before they managed to fully restore the business after super typhoon Yolanda. Prices of coconut went up due to lack of supply after the disaster sheared and uprooted millions of coconut trees.
Farm owners in Sta. Rita, Samar sell buko for Php 12 per piece . Their average sales is pegged at 300 pieces daily.
Buko selling has been the family’s business for more than two decades. It was previously run by her parents until it was passed on to her. The business has been the family’s source of living, including sending their children to school.
Edilberto Nierva, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Eastern Visayas regional manager, said that the presence of buko vendors indicated a slow recovery of the coconut industry.
Since some copra traders and oil mills have stopped their operation, some farmers resort to selling buko, according to Nierva. Copra is a byproduct of coconut primarily used as raw material in coconut oil production.
“The price of buko is more stable while copra price fluctuates, but our recovery initiatives are geared towards restoring coconut production not just for buko but for other purposes as well,” Nierva said. (PNA)