Initiatives for coco farmers endorsed

Farmgate price of copra last June 19, 2019 of P15.23 per kilogram (kg), according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) price watch. (File Photo)
Farmgate price of copra last June 19, 2019 of P15.23 per kilogram (kg), according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) price watch. (File Photo)

THE chairperson of the Economic Committee (EDC) of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) raised the need to update the enrollment of coconut farmers in the National Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS).

During the first Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting for 2024 held at the Cebu Provincial Capitol Social Hall last Thursday, March 14, Melanie Ng pointed out that 132,606 of the 338,649 coconut farmers and farm workers in Central Visayas have yet to be validated.

Through Republic Act (RA) 11524, or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, farmers are mandated to enroll in the NCFRS to avail themselves of various programs and projects vital for their development under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP).

The EDC passed a resolution recommending that RDC enjoin local government units (LGUs) through their respective local agricultural offices, to update the enrollment of their coconut farmers in the NCFRS.

The endorsement highlighted the formulation of the Central Visayas-Agricultural Strategic Plan for the year 2024-2028, which aims to foster sustainable growth and innovation within the agricultural sector.

This plan, integrating inputs from various stakeholders including the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 and the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Development Plans of the LGUs, serves as a comprehensive roadmap to identify areas for production, marketing strategies, and priority commodities, to drive agricultural development within the region.

The recommendation also accentuated the role of youth engagement in agricultural progress as stated in RA 8435, also known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act of 1997.

Further, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has initiated the Young Farmers Challenge (YFC) Program, aimed at empowering young farmers and fisherfolk to contribute actively to food security and agricultural progress.

With three different components — YFC Start-up, YFC Upscale, YFC Business Development Assistance — the program seeks to provide financial assistance, capacity building, and access to modern agricultural technologies.

Ng’s endorsement underscores the effort toward inclusive agricultural development for coconut farmers and young farmers. (BiPSU INTERN JOSHUA USIGAN)

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