The fertiliser, called Cocogro, is made from the fluid squeezed out of coconuts during the desiccation process, which usually goes to waste.
Dr Lorele Trinidad was one of the scientists who developed Cocogro, and said the coconut water was originally explored as a cheap culture medium.
“Later, as we found out that coconut water has many nutrients, it ceased to be a mere culture medium and became the focus of our study,” he explained.
“It’s a crude mixture of growth hormones. There are growth hormones good for rooting, good for shooting, so if you have vegetable seeds, the shooting is good, as well as the germination.”
Dr Trinidad said much coconut water from the processing industry goes to waste, and Cocogro means both an added revenue stream and a cheap, environmentally friendly fertiliser.
Testing of the new fertiliser is ongoing, and limited in scale due to funding, but Dr Trinidad says demand in the Philippines is already strong.
“We are getting inquiries from coconut growers from as far as Mindanao, Samar and other provinces in the Visayas.”