PRESS AND RADIO RELEASE
15 March 2014
The Department of Agriculture under its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) conducted a hands-on-training on the production of Geonet at the factory of Juboken Enterprises at lower Gapo, Camalig, Albay. Juboken Enterprises is the pioneer producer of Geonet in the region. Seventeen (17) members of Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino Cooperative of Bombon, Libon, Albay attended the said training.
According to Cooperative Chair Josias Pedrocello, the cooperative wanted to venture into geonet production as additional income for their farmer members and for their cooperative as well. Libon in particular, and its surrounding municipalities has abundant coconut. Coconut husks after copra making is left to rot in the field. Actually, the members has stockpiled coconut husks ready for decortication. Pedrocello added, that this training will not only benefit the farmers but their families as well, as twining can be done by other members of the family. The procedures involved are: collection of husk, decorticating or processing the husks into fiber and peat , twining and weaving.
Agnes Nebres the Administrative Officer of Juboken said that they have been producing geonet for over 13 years. They provide trainings to interested group to ensure the quality of the products, and timely delivery of cocofibers for twining. Nebres said that one bundle of decorticated coco husk with 11 meters long costs Ps 2.65 generating additional income of Ps 150 -200 pesos per day per person. Twining can be done collectively by the family and weaving twine into nets is done by women. Women who work from home are more flexible with their time and can also do household chores.
According to AMAD Chief and I-REAP head of PRDP, Adelina Losa, geonet production has been identified as the priority commodity of the province of Albay because of its market potential not only locally but also abroad. Besides, coconut husks abound and can be found anywhere in the province. Geonet is biodegradable and has excellent water absorption and water holding capability. The Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino cooperative is one of the organizations identified to supply geonet. Losa added that, while waiting for the approval of the loan, the said group is now equipped with the knowledge and skills on geonet production.