DUMAGUETE CITY – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is targeting 338,649 coconut farmers in the four Central Visayas provinces to sign up with the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS) so they can avail government’s funding for this sector.
PCA Region 7 (Central Visayas) Regional Director Brendan Trasmonte told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday that the farmers who were already identified and included in the updated list are from Bohol, 124,571; Negros Oriental,104,400; Cebu, 92,059 and Siquijor, 17,619.
Trasmonte said of the total target, those that have already been encoded and registered in the NCFRS are Bohol, 87,801; Negros 75,787; Cebu 64,153; and Siquijor 10,848.
He urged the remaining coconut farmers to sign up with the NCFRS to avail of the different programs and assistance under Republic Act 11524 or The Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund, previously known as the coco levy fund.
The Act requires the creation of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), which has already been approved and is being implemented through various government agencies, he said.
“This is actually designed for coconut farmers to address their needs and concerns,” he added.
The program components that registered coconut farmers could avail of include social protection, scholarships, crop insurance, training, hybridization, integrated processing of coconut-based products, organization of farmers’ associations, and support services such as production loans and others.
The NCFRS will be the coconut farmers’ ticket to avail of the different programs and services offered through the CFIDP as the list will be the government’s official basis for assisting this sector, Trasmonte said.
According to the PCA regional director, even non-owner of lands planted to coconut can also register with the NCFRS, including those renting/tilling land from or even just being employed by a coconut farmer.
A coconut grower with a minimum of 20 coconut trees may also avail of certain government assistance and services provided that person is officially listed in the NCFRS, he said. (PNA)