The Japan-Asean Integration Fund-Emergency Economic Assistance (JAIF-EEA) recently approved implementation of a project with a grant amount of $758,299 or P33.36 million, which will seek to strengthen smallholder coconut-based industries in the Philippines.
The project is intended to help increase job opportunities for coconut farmers and their families, and contribute to the reduction of poverty incidence as a result.
The project, which is to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority, will run for two years. It covers two regions in Mindanao namely Northern Mindanao (X) and CARAGA (XIII).
The JAIF-EEA project will include the establishment of two model coir-processing facilities with a 24,000 husks per day capacity, which will be managed and operated by smallholder farmers’ cooperatives. The facility will also include working sheds, warehouses and drying facilities and machineries such as decorticating, bailing/compacting, sieving, twining, and looming machines, as well as mixers and hauling trucks.
Other components to be provided under the project include technical assistance and capacity building to improve and further enhance farmers’ knowledge on coir processing technologies. Coaching will also be done on the management and operation of the coco coir business.
The project will also provide marketing assistance to the cooperatives and connect them to local and international buyers.