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Mindanao producer, Brunei firm tie up on coco sugar production in Butuan City

Butuan City (1 June) -- A coconut sugar producer based in Butuan City and a private company in Brunei Darussalam have forged a joint venture on the production of coconut sugar, a commodity which, according to the Butuan-based producer has seen a growing demand in foreign markets.

M.I. Noos Manufacturing, a coconut sugar producer in Butuan City and PYKES Corporation of Brunei Darussalam recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is part of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Natural Resources Development (NRD) Cluster Meeting held in General Santos City.

The Brunei Darussalam private sector delegate expressed interest in marketing coconut sugar in Brunei with possible investment in the proposed expansion of coco-sugar processing facility for M.I. Noos, which will supply to foreign markets.

According to M.I. Noos, there is a growing foreign demand for coconut sugar and that emerging markets include France, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, and the United States, particularly in the state of Alabama, aside from Brunei Darussalam.

According to the company, they are producing 600 kilograms of coconut sugar every month. They said that about 30 hectares expansion of coconut plantation is needed to produce 14 tons of coconut sugar per month.

The location for the proposed coconut expansion and processing facility will be in this region?s capital city.

Several private sector companies in Mindanao have also explored with their counterparts in BIMP-EAGA possible joint ventures on production of pangasius, bottled sardines and banana as well as on rubber processing and expansion of halal poultry processing facility.

Director Rayner Galid from Malaysia has expressed interest in identifying possible market tie-ups with Tita Rosa Food Products, producer of bottled sardines in Zamboanga Del Norte which has sought partnership on the enhancement of its processing plant, as well as looking for distributors and buyers of bottled sardines.

Domingo Pangasius Farm, a pangasius producer in Davao City is also seeking joint venture agreements for expansion as well as buyers of fingerlings and live/fresh pangasius fish. Likewise, Galid expressed interest in linking the said producer with prospective Malaysian investors.

Haji Othman, acting head of SME Development-BIMP-EAGA Brunei Council expressed interest in exploring business arrangements with SARBEMCO, a rubber processing company in Zamboanga, who is looking for a joint venture partner for rubber processing and trading.

Several other Mindanao-based companies also presented business proposals like Agumil Phils. Inc. on palm oil and palm kernel production, and La Frutera Inc. and Wao Development Corp. on banana and pineapple production expansion and marketing.

A product exhibit was also conducted alongside the BIMP-EAGA meeting which showcased various crops and food produce from different regions in Mindanao and Palawan.

According to Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the BIMP-EAGA sub-region, which includes Mindanao and Palawan as Philippines' focus areas, is being eyed as the "food basket" of ASEAN. (muc/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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