The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is embarking on a P50-million coconut growing project in Misamis Oriental this year.
Luis Cruz, PCA manager in Northern Mindanao, said the Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding the project along with construction of a farm to market road in areas where coconut farming is a major part of the local economy.
Cruz urged the provincial government to avail itself of the program by passing the necessary requirements, such as the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, municipal council and barangay council endorsements.
He issued the challenge to the provincial government as Misamis Oriental launched the second anniversary celebration of the Kuyamis Festival this week.
Kuyamis Festival is a weeklong festival that showcases the various byproducts of coconut as the “raw materials.”
Misamis Oriental is one of the top 5 coconut-producing provinces in the country, with 102,622 hectares of land planted with coconuts.
Cruz said the potential for coconut farming is so huge that even one farmer in Misamis Oriental alone is already earning at least P90,000 a month by solely harvesting coconuts.
Along this line, Cruz revealed that the PCA is conducting technology-transfer services to interested farmers in the barangay level regionwide and strongly urged the local government units to avail themselves of their programs.
He said 70 percent of coconuts produced in Misamis Oriental are for export.
In the third quarter of 2014, the province produced a total of 28,901 metric tons (MT) of copra, with 500,000 green nuts harvested and 93,816 MT in byproducts.
The byproducts were in the form of coconut chemicals, coconut cream, coconut-coir fiber, coconut-milk fiber, coconut,shell charcoal, coconut oil, coconut water, copra cake/meal, desiccated coconut and activated carbon.
Misamis Oriental has a total of 36,000 coconut farmers. Misamis Oriental also has six oil mills and four coconut-processing factories on coconut sugar and coconut honey.