NORTHERN MINDANAO – As the series of information campaign on Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) rolled out in Northern Mindanao, local coconut farmer-leaders were enlightened and given clarifications on the benefits they will receive under Republic Act No. 11524.
This series of information caravans was organized by the Agricultural Training Institute in Northern Mindanao, together with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Regional Office X, and some other CFIDP implementing agencies (IAs).
During the caravans, some 200 farmers were informed on the programs, projects, and services that they can avail themselves of under the law.
Consequently, some major misconceptions and expectations on the Coco Levy Fund were clarified to the participating coconut farmer-leaders.
Specifically, one of the participants in a caravan held in Ozamiz City, Epimaca Lagaac, shared that several farmers in their community, who are mostly senior citizens, have been asking about their share from the Coco Levy Fund.
“Hindi ko sila mabigyan ng sagot kaya salamat at naka-attend ako ngayon [sa information caravan] at maipaliliwanag ko ang programa [CFIDP] sa kanila,” the farmer-leader from Macabayao, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental said.
[“I couldn’t address their questions, that’s why I am thankful that I was able to attend this information caravan. I can now explain the program to them.”]
Another farmer-leader from the said province, Alfonso Calipusan, also shared similar experience as president of a small farmer organization.
He stated, “Sa lugar namin, akala nila magbibigay ng 5,000 pesos sa bawat isang magsasaka.”
[“In our community, farmers thought they will receive Php5,000 each.”]
Calipusan, likewise, expressed his appreciation to all the CFIDP IAs who presented their respective programs during the event.
“Salamat at nakasali ako sa information caravan ngayon at maibabahagi [ko] ang detalye ng programa sa iba,” Calipusan added.
[“I am grateful to be part of this information caravan and I can now share the details of the program to other farmers.”]
Meanwhile, in a caravan in Bukidnon, PCA Regional Manager Manuel Octobre said that the CFIDP is a “good news” particularly because the Coco Levy being collected has been an issue for a long time.
Relative to this, he challenged the participants to go into coconut product development.
“In Region X, 67 percent of exports are obtained from coconut, thus, we should look at coconut farming as a business,” he stressed.
At the end of each caravan, the PCA has distributed some coconut seedlings to selected coconut farmer organizations.
This series of activities was held last July 19, 21,22 and 29, covering areas of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, and Bukidnon, respectively.