NAGA CITY – Sixteen coconut and cacao growers associations composed of over 100 farmers from 12 towns of Camarines Sur signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Coconut-based Cacao and Coffee Enterprise Development Project (C3EDP) under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) year 2 for the Camarines Sur province.

The MOU signing which marked the launch of the CFIDP in Camarines Sur was held at the JMR Museum in Dayangdang this city on December 21, 2023 and was led by the DA- High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP), together with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Camarines Sur provincial office, Provincial LGU of Camarines Sur, Municipal LGUs and farmer recipients.

The participants were also oriented on various topics such as management practices and the marketing of cacao.

The 16 FCAs were: Tigaon Native Cacao Growers and Processors Association; Malabog Integrated Farmers Association of Caramoan; Del Vega Farmers Association Inc. of Baao; Baao Upland Farmers Association; Minadongjol Corn Farmers Association of Sgnay; Monte Calvario Smart Farmers Cooperative of Buhi; PILAC (Presentacion Integrated Livelihood Association Coop) of Presentacion; San Vicente Small Coconut Farmers Association of Buhi; Aliar Coconut Farmers Agriculture Coop. of San Fernando; Calabanga Cacao Growers Association; Coconutvill Farmers Association of Libmanan; Agri-preneur Farmers and Producers Assn., Inc. of Libmanan; Sinuknipan Cacao Farmers Association of Del Gallego; Ragay Coco Sentral; Golden Coconut Farmers Association of Lupi; and Brgy. Salvacion United Farmers Association of Buhi.

These beneficiary associations will receive a total of P2,258,680 interventions for the rehabilitation of their cacao plantations. The rehab interventions will consist of 885 vermicomposting bags, 885 organic fertilizer, 225 sachets of KH boron, 25 mini chain saws, 25 grafting knives, 25 grass cutters, 25 long pruning shears, 75 short pruning shears, and nine soil augers. Another P1,950,775 worth of interventions for the expansion of the cacao plantation will also be given consisting of 27,500 grafted cacao seedlings, 275 bags organic fertilizer; 8 black nets; 40 long pruning shears; and 32 short pruning shears.

The CFIDP was drafted following the signing of Republic Act 11524, better known as the Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund Act of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on February 26, 2021.

CFIDP aims to increase the income and productivity of the 2.5 million coconut farmers in the country; promote poverty alleviation, education, and social equity; and rehabilitate and modernize the Philippine coconut industry.

The DA-HVCDP, through the DA RFO’s and in close coordination with the PCA, prepared the 5-year CFIDP plan for the community-based Farm Enterprise Development: Farm Rehabilitation and Improvement: Coffee and Cacao Intercropping, which is among the seven components of the CFIDP.

The goals of the project are the following: (1) Support smallholder coconut farmers and their families to gain sustainable employment and income through intercropping of cacao and coffee, (2) Maximize utilization of coconut lands for increased productivity (3) Increase level of local sufficiency for coffee and cacao (4) Develop community-based enterprise through the completion from other components under R.A 11524 (5) Capacitate farmers to conserve and protect the natural resources that support their livelihoods.

The CFIDP year 2 implementation was previously launched in Albay, Camarines Norte and Masbate in 2023. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)

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