|Alcala urge farmers to produce other coco products|
|Written by DA-AFIS|
|Tuesday, 04 February 2014 00:37|
The Department of Agriculture, through the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), urged Filipino coconut farmers to join the government in resolving and recommending steps for the utilization of the coconut levy fund, during the 2nd National Coconut Farmers’ Conference held in Quezon City on January 29, 2014.
In his welcome address Secretary Proceso J. Alcala reiterated the agreement made during the 2012 conference and stressed that the coco farmers, then, agreed to maintain the coconut levy as a trust fund and spend only the fund’s interest earnings.
To effectively use the earnings, Alcala challenged the coco growers to appropriate the fund for projects aimed at developing the coconut industry and raise the income of the small coconut farmers Alcala also encouraged the coco farmers to try non-conventional livelihood.
“Aside from copra and crude coconut oil processing, you may want to try other value-adding processes under the Bukod-Kopra and FRESCO programs which produce virgin coconut oil and coconut skimmed milk,” the Agri Chief announced.
Bukod-Kopra is a strategy that uses other resources in the coconut farms while FRESCO is a non-copra industry which uses fresh mature coconut as raw material for interlinked processes that produce a variety of by-products.
The Secretary challenged the coco farmers to create programs and form groups that will oversee the establishment of village level coconut processing plants as part of the planned agro-industrial hubs.
He also asked them to help identify strategic areas where farmers’ associations can partner with local government units and non-government organizations in the construction and operation of processing plants as well as marketing of coco products.
“Even as coconut oil remains to be one of the country’s major export commodities we need to deviate from it and produce high value products. This is the change that our hubs want to initiate,” Alcala said.
The 2nd National Coconut Farmers’ Conference was organized by the Coconut Industry Reform COIR Movement led by Ka Oscar Santos, in collaboration with the PCA and the Project Management Office for the Coconut Integrated Development Roadmap led by Ed dela Torre.
The coco farmers’ conference served as a venue for consultations on the collaboration between coconut farmer groups from thirty three provinces all over the country, the DA-PCA and the Project Management Office in crafting measures to uplift the livelihood of coconut farmers and promote the local coconut industry.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 00:39|