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Coconut Calvary
An Inquirer i-Team Special Report

Fernando del Mundo

Cover design by Jerito dela Cruz

Cover photo by Delfin T. Mallari Jr

Copyright 2012 Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc.

Smashwords Edition

License Notes

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Contents

Chapter 1 Free P9-B coco fund, Noy urged

Chapter 2 Farmer sells kidney to redeem family farm

Chapter 3 ‘UCPB doesn’t give loans to those in slippers’



Chapter 1 Free P9-B coco fund, Noy urged

President Aquino had a eureka moment on his last visit to the United States in September last year.

He had a taste of coco water, courtesy of Brazilian businessman Rodrigo Alvarez, whose product had become an instant best seller among American and European fitness buffs.

Mr. Aquino was told that what Filipinos called “buko” juice had more mineral and potassium than Gatorade, the popular sport drink endorsed by his airness, Michael Jordan.

On his return to Manila, an upbeat President announced that the newly discovered thirst quencher in America could be a savior for impoverished coconut farmers and their families who comprise a quarter of the nation’s almost 100 million population.

“Doesn’t it sometimes just go to waste? Who would have thought we could earn from it to uplift the lives of many Filipinos in the provinces,” Mr. Aquino said of the coconut water spilled in copra-making.

The President announced that while in New York, he was told that Pepsi Co. and Vita Coco had expressed interest in investing in buko juice—with the latter planning to put in some $15 million in the country in the next four years.

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