DA Secretary Yap donates 8 decorticating machines to Region 8 coco coir producers
By Ninfa B Quirante
Tacloban City (26 October) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Arthur Yap donated some eight decorticating machines to the region to improve its coco-coir production venture.
The commitment was contained in a letter hand-carried by Hon. Secretary Gabriel Claudio, Cabinet Official for Regional Development (CORD) for Eastern Visayas and read during the Technology Forum for Coco Coir Producers in the region, yesterday at the Ritz Tower de Leyte, Tacloban City.
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Samar Provincial Chief Emi Acasio said that participants in the technology investment forum included the current producers of coco coir, investors in coco coir production and local and international buyers with some government agencies.
He added that PCA is cognizant of the promising market in coco coir, based on studies; Acasio said that the country produces around 12 billion husks a year and 40% of these are available for coir processing.
Whereas before farmers either use the coir as fuel to ‘smoke’ their copra or plainly dump them, today, coco coir has evolved into one useful material for geotextile and other products, PCA informed.
Claudio acknowledged the relevance of the forum to link producers with possible buyers of coco coir and identify specific requirements to be complied with by the producers.
The forum also served to draft strategies to strengthen linkages between producers and buyers.
Presently, PCA noted that a total of eight (8) processors are currently into the business of coco coir production. These small to medium entrepreneurs are able to produce 1,995 MT/a year of coir though the processing plants can process up to 66,500 husks a day.
With the new machines to be deployed in areas where coco coir production boom and the knowledge of current world market situation, it is hoped that coco coir production could provide more jobs to more villagers in the coconut industry. (PIA-Samar) [top]