Eighty five percent of more than two million coconut farmers listed in the 2018 National Coconut Farmers’ Registry System (NCFRS) database has been updated, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles said on Monday.
Reporting the accomplishments of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to President Rodrigo Duterte, Nograles said 2,524, 267 farmers in the 2018 NCFRS database have been updated.
The registry was also able to record additional 585,322 new coconut farmers, according to Nograles.
“So ang total na po sa registry is 3,109,589 at patuloy pa rin po ‘yung verification ng mga farmers na ito,” he said.
Updating and verification of coconut farmers registry system are mandated under the Republic Act 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act signed by President Duterte early this year.
“Under your administration, Pangulong Duterte, kayo po ang gumawa nitong napakalaking tulong sa ating mga coconut farmers. Ang pagsasabatas ng Republic Act 11524 or ‘yung Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act. Ito po ay dekada na pong hinihintay ng ating mga coconut farmers. It is only under your administration na magiging reality po ito,” Nograles told the President.
Republic Act 11524 mandates the creation of a roadmap for the coconut industry—the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan, outlining government’s plan on how the Filipino coconut farmers could benefit from the coco levy fund.
Also in his report, Nograles spelled out ongoing PCA projects such as the Coconut Hybridization Project. So far, the PCA has distributed 1,531,956 hybrid planting materials and 2,307,330 open pollinated varieties.
The agency also planted 36,642,245 seedlings under its Coconut Planting and Replanting project, benefiting 198,260 coconut farmers.
Nograles said PCA’s coconut fertilization project is also ongoing, with the agency covering 249,643 hectares, benefiting 156,661 farmers. He added that under the PCA’s Seed Farm Development Project, 12 seed farms were established.
To fight poverty, the PCA carried out programs such as the KAANIB Enterprise Development Project or KEDP crop diversification. The project focuses on intercropping of coconut and various crops aimed at augmenting coconut farmers’ income. The project already covered 17,957 hectares.
Also included in the KEDP project is animal integration, with the PCA distributing 4,812, livestock, benefitting more than 3,000 farmers.
The PCA also joined the fight against COVID-19 through collaboration with other agencies. It tied up with DOST-FNRI and PCHRD as well as with UP-PGH for clinical studies on the possible use of virgin coconut oil on suspected and probable COVID-19 cases.
Studies under PCA-DOST-FNRI tie up have already concluded while those being conducted by PCHRD and UP-PGH on therapeutic use of coconut oil for COVID-19 cases are ongoing, Nograles said. PND