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PIA Press Release

Agri project targets to improve production of 25,000 farmers

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (21 April) -- Another $5.4 million from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is set to be poured out in Western and Southern Mindanao provinces specifically targeting 25,000 smallholder farmers.

Named CoCoPAL after the Cocoa, Coconut, and Palayamanan, this project follows the concept of diversified rice and corn-based farming linked to a value chain approach.

ACDI/VOCA is chosen to implement the project, monetize 13,200 MT soybean meal and use the proceeds over a 3-year period to improve the capacity of the farmers.

ACDI/VOCA will work with local partners CocoaPhil and PhilRice, as well as the University of Southern Mindanao (USM), to implement the activities. The CoCoPal program, which derives its from cocoa, coconut and the palayamanan, will improve post-harvest processing facilities and practices. It will also review the existing value chains for those crops at the outset of the program to ensure that activities focus on the opportunities and constraints within each value chain, resulting in increased farmer participation and benefits.

The program will help the farmers produce food and income sustain ably and thereby increase food security for their households.

The project will achieve this through value chain growth and integration linked to a farming systems approach called palayamanan that derives its name from palay (rice) and kayamanan (wealth). The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) promotes palayamanan, which combines rice with other high-value crops through the efficient use of farm resources, to ensure that farmers can produce more while also retaining soil fertility.

The formal launching of the project is held today (April 21) at the Ballroom B, Apo View Hotel, 10 in the morning. (PIA XI) [top]

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