CIIF-OMG to help coco farmers increase their yield
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (29 September) -- A private group is looking into the production of coconut farmers and will partner with the government in a project that will introduce measures to improve the decreasing yield of the coconut industry as well as augment farmers income.
In an interview with Melanie Provido, high value commercial crop (HVCC) coordinator of the Department of Agriculture (DA XI) she said the scheme will be carried out through the banana-coconut intercropping project that will first be piloted in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCOS).
She identified Coconut Industry Investment Fund - Oil Mills Group (CIIF-OMG) as the government partner which will develop 100 clusters throughout the country.
She said each cluster comprises 3,000 hectares of coconut farmlands planted in between with Cardaba banana.
She said they intend to develop the area in a span of three years.
CIIF-OMG, an association of accredited oil mills operating all over the country, after noting the decreasing yield of the coconut industry said it is necessary to come into the picture and help the government address the problems of the industry and the coco farmers..
She said while the project is initially introduced in Samal they are now talking with other beneficiaries even as she said that the project is a partnership between DA, CIIF-OMG, the local government unit and the coconut farmers.
Davao Oriental, she said, is their next area, the province having the biggest coverage estimated at 396,000 hectares. But she said 95 percent of the area is under utilized. Other areas being considered are Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.
She said the banana-coconut intercropping project is just one aspect because the CIIF-OMG will also assist farmers in rehabilitating their farms.
Provido bared that 30 to 40 percent of the trees here are over 40 years old and no longer producing well.
The other reason for the decreasing coconut yield, she said, is that coconut farmers do not fertilize their trees and only 10 percent of them apply salt to the trees.
She said rehabilitation is a must among farmers for them to improve their yield.
The CIIF-OMG will provide planting materials to the farmers through Plant Now Pay Later (PNPL) scheme to be paid in copra product that they will deliver to accredited oil mills.
Farmers in Davao del Norte and nearby provinces can deliver their copra through Legaspi Oil, a CIIF-OMG accredited mill in Davao City.
The other support components that will later be established are coconut nursery for rehabilitation of coconut farms and post harvest facilities like copra dryer and other technologies like coconut fiber production. An IT component will also be established and information kiosk for project monitoring including back to back transaction between farmers and traders. (PIA XI) [top]