Coconut: Why not? – CFIDP on its first year

Mon, 10/24/2022 - 13:59

Approved in the year 2021, the Republic Act 11524, widely known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund (CFITF) Act aims to increase the revenue and productivity for coconut farmers and growers, alleviate poverty, improve the quality of education and equality in the society, empower the rehabilitation and modernization of the coconut industry towards productivity.

On its first year of implementation, the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center 1 (ATI-RTC 1) in collaboration with the lead implementing agency, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), conducted five batches of information caravan around the region. This activity aims to create awareness on the implementation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) and encourage coconut farmers to participate in the various programs and services under the CFIDP.

Aside from ATI and PCA, CFIDP is being implemented by other agencies supporting the program through their services including the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I (DA-RFO I); Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC); Technical and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Cooperative Development Authority (CDA); Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP); Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech); Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI); National Dairy Authority (NDA); National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP); Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Commission on Higher Education (CHED); and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg). These implementing agencies comprise the seven (7) program components of CFIDP that include social protection, coconut farmers organization and development, hybridization, community-based farm enterprise development: farm rehabilitation and improvement, integrated coconut processing and downstream products, innovative research projects and their practical application on coconut processing, production, and distribution, and support services.

The five batches of information caravan were conducted in the following sites:
Bolinao, Pangasinan (September 30, 2022)
The launching of CFIDP, as well as the first leg of information caravan was conducted at Don Raymundo Sports Complex, Bolinao, Pangasinan. This was attended by implementing agencies –ATI-RTC 1; PCA; PhilMech; DPWH; PCIC; DTI; CDA; NCIP; and TESDA.

During the launching program, a welcome message was given by the Municipal Mayor of Bolinao, Pangasinan, Hon. Alfonso F. Celeste, as an encouragement to everyone to strive for coconut farming. Messages of support were also given by the provincial representatives from the four (4) provinces of Region 1. Moreover, Mr. Dennis D. Andres, Regional Manager III of PCA Regions I, II, III, and CAR graced the introduction of the program and presented the CFIDP Partner Agencies.

To sum up, there were 50 coconut farmers and growers who were informed about the services of the program and the requirements they need to prepare to avail these services. There were also questions and clarifications raised during the open forum of the activity, which were addressed by representatives of the different implementing agencies of the program.

Lingayen, Pangasinan (October 7, 2022)
The second leg of information caravan was held on October 7, 2022 at Lingayen Tricycle Terminal, Lingayen, Pangasinan and attended by 50 coconut farmers and growers. Question raised in the caravan included the coconut insurance which will be implemented by PCIC. Together with PCIC, ATI-RTC 1, CDA, DA-RFO 1, PCA, and OPAG were also present during the caravan.

This event was also attended by the Municipal Vice Mayor. Hon. Dexter Malicdem who gave his empowering message for the farmers and growers, and Mr. Rodolfo Dela Cruz, Municipal Agriculturist of Lingayen who was also in support to the program.

Candon City, Ilocos Sur (October 11, 2022)
Fifty-five (55) coconut farmers and growers were informed about the services and components of CFIDP during the third batch of the information caravan held at Candon City Sports Complex, Candon City, Ilocos Sur on October 11, 2022. This was instigated by the implementing agencies – ATI-RTC 1, PCA, DA-RFO 1, DTI, PHilMech, DPWH, CDA, and PCIC who were present during the conduct.

One issue raised during this batch was the formation and strengthening of farmer cooperatives to further maximize the needs of farmers in availing services. Among other concerns, coconut pest and diseases control were also asked and given brief discussion.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte (October 12, 2022)
With countless coconut plantations in the municipality, Pagudpud was chosen as the site of the fourth batch of information caravan conducted on October 12, 2022. This batch was administered by ATI-RTC 1, PCA, DA-RFO 1, DTI, PHilMech, DPWH, CDA, and PCIC.

A participant inquired about getting the list of coconut registered farmers and PCA reiterated that enlisting and delisting are being done to update list. They also reminded farmers and growers to register in the National Coconut Farmers Registry System or the NCFRS prior to availing services.

The caravan was attended by the Municipal Mayor, Hon. Rafael Ralph L. Benemerito Jr. and Vice Mayor, Hon. Bingbong Calvan and it was highlighted on their messages their positive support to the program.

Aringay, La Union (October 21, 2022)
The last batch of information caravan conducted this year was held at Municipal Ampitheater, Aringay, La Union on October 21, 2022. This was participated by ATI-RTC 1, PCA, PHilMech, PCIC, DTI, and LBP, where 50 farmers and growers were given updates about the program.

Since LBP was present in this conduct, the component of credit under the support services was emphasized in the inquiries. The participants appreciated and were satisfied about the services of the implementing agencies which for them, will generate more jobs, income, and opportunities.