BUTUAN CITY: Agusan del Norte’s coconut farmers has sought assistance from the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) for increasing geonet production in the Caraga region.
The Libas Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Jabonga recently presented its P10-million on business proposal on Geonet Production and Marketing during the two-day PRDP Investments for Rural Enterprises and Agricultural and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) Business Plan and Technical Review.
“The successful geonet production of the neighboring provinces has inspired us to duplicate its business for the purpose of creating additional source of income among the farmers in the locality,” said Tomas Tener, Provincial I-PLAN Component head.
The proposed project would provide the cooperative with hauling and delivery truck, cooperative’s office, warehouse, weighing scales, and decorticating, twinning and weaving machines. “These machines would efficiently translate to 4,000 coconet rolls per year,” Tener said.
Based on the Vulnerability and Suitability Assessment (VSA) result, Jabonga ranked second in its assessment for most number of coconut trees planted, hence the availability of dehusked nuts.
“It all started when few households began twinning with the coconut husk they gathered, until the neighbors also started the same activity and realized its potential as a lucrative source of income,” said Elson Morada, Cooperative chairperson.
As per financial economic analysis, an individual can earn an average of P250 per day producing five-square meter of geonet. If the cooperative’s proposal will be granted under PRDP’s enterprise development component, a farmer can have an annual income of up to P47,000.
The Provincial Agriculture Office has seen the enthusiasm and cooperation of the coconut farmers in the municipality which encouraged them to assist the farmers in forming a cooperative with coconet production as its main line of business.
Geonet, also known as coconet, has been in demand for mining companies operating in the many areas of Caraga. Its main use is to prevent soil erosion where government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources require its public works constructors and mining operators to use geonet in their preventive and rehabilitation measures.