PH develops low-cost phytohormones from waste coconut water

| Written by Padayon UP

Waste coconut water has been put to good use, after a group of researchers from University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) developed low-cost phytohormones from it, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.

The Philippines currently imports phytohormones which are used in tissue culture and plant propagation to induce crop growth and increase yield, DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said.

He said the UPLB project, “Extraction of Phytohormones from Waste Coconut Water Using Biochar Derived from Agricultural residues,” is supported by DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

“They developed a low-cost, high-yield extraction procedure for phytohormones from waste coconut water. The research provides a means of reducing environmental pollution by increasing value-added products in the coconut industry,” he said during his weekly report on Friday, Dec. 10.

He said all phytohormones used in the country are imported.

“Phytohormones are present in coconut water which is usually thrown away during copra or coconut oil production. This practice causes environmental pollution.”

De la Peña said the UPLB project was designed to create a business model for coconut farmers’ cooperatives.

“Together with the Quezon Provincial Coconut Farmers Producer Cooperative (QPCFPC), the team projected a business model that will yield a 27 percent return of investment and 24 percent internal rate of return, with an initial investment of P45.7 million,” he said.

(This article, written by Charissa Luci-Atienza, was first published in the Manila Bulletin Website on December 11, 2021)