PRODUCTION of virgin coconut oil in the province of Compostela Valley is expected to increase, after a cooperative in the area vowed to double its output.
The cooperative received a financial grant from the Department of Science and Technology to boost its production.
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The Cocolife Cooperative of Kingking in the town of Pantukan, Compostela Valley has been granted a P500,000 loan by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the acquisition of equipment used in the processing of virgin coconut oil.
By adopting the so-called mechanized centrifugal process, Cocolife's productivity is expected to increase by nearly 100 percent.
To date, Cocolife is churning out 300 liters of virgin coconut oil per day, which is expected to increase to as much as 600 liters per day with the acquisition of the machine.
"This is really a great opportunity for them. Once they increase their production, they can already cater to larger markets. And this means bigger income for the cooperative," Department of Trade and Industry-Compostela Valley Project Office (DTI-CV) manager Nelly L. Esperanza said in an interview yesterday in Davao City.
The provincial office of DTI in Comval has various business development intervention to Cocolife and its strong partnership with other line agencies paving the way for Cocolife to access loan assistance from DOST.
The Cocolife Cooperative is composed of businessmen, coconut farmers, and landowners who organized themselves in 2005 in a bid to save the coconut farms from being converted into banana plantations.
"Five years ago, when coconut trees from all over the region were cut down and areas were cleared to become Cavendish banana plantation, this group thought of a coconut by-product which can be exported and can give huge income for farmers. Through this way, they can prevent the further conversion of coconut farms into banana plantations," Esperanza said.
Cognizant of the potential of the VCO, the Municipal Government of Pantukan even replaced Cavendish banana with coco-based products as its Otop (One Town One Product) program with the DTI. (CPM)