The Department of Agriculture of under its RP-Spain project recently turned over the 3.7 million coco coir processing and marketing project. This is a grant-assistance from the Spanish government through the Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarullo (AECID).
It aims to facilitate technology adoption, resource utilization and to add value to existing economic activities of the agri-stakeholders in the rural areas. Included in the project component is the establishment and provision of processing facilities which the Castilla Development Cooperative (CADECO) in San Rafael Castilla, Sorsogon is one of the recipients.
CADECO BOD chair Ireneo D. Din said that 98% of their members are coconut and rice farmers. The cooperative has been existing for 22 years and has over eight million assets. He proudly declared that their long years of existence is due to the strong participation and cooperation of their 350 members.
The cooperative’s business activities include: palay/rice trading, rice mill and palay drying. With the establishment of the coco coir processing project, Din is optimistic that more farmers will benefit from the project as coconut husks are just left to rot in the field after copra making, but now it can be converted to cash. He was also thankful to the Local Government Unit of Castilla headed by Mayor Olive Bermillo for giving the counterpart for the installation of the 3-phase electrical installation.
OIC Regional Executive Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina said that the cooperative will not be successful if the members did not support the economic activities and the officers did not work hard for its success. Study shows that only few cooperatives are making good in their economic activities. She emphasized that on the part of the DA priority is given to organized cooperatives with good track record.
She challenged the cooperative to continue to serve the farmers in Castilla and the neighboring towns. She lauded the efforts of the officers for their continuous assistance and hard work to keep the cooperative afloat. She also mentioned that the cooperative maximized use of the flatbed dryer installed in the CADECO compound because record shows they were able to generate additional income of Ps 42,000 from drying palay alone.
SAIS-BC project coordinator Ernesto Parato disclosed that the region has 32 project beneficiaries. He urged the cooperative to treat the project as their business in order to generate income. He said that given the technology and the right management the project will benefit many members.
One plus factor of the project is the ready market. JUBOKEN enterprise is buying the coco coir and a marketing contract has been forged between CADECO and JUBOKEN. The project is equipped with coco coir shed, hauling truck, decorticating machine, bailing machine and electric pump. The project is jointly implemented by DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority.
There are two varieties of coir. Brown coir White coir
Brown coir is used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking.
The major use of white coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. White coir also used to make fishing nets due to its strong resilience to salt water. Source: Department of Agriculture April 12, 2010 (Philippines) http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=84595