Davao de Oro to build coco oil processing centers for small farmers

Residents in Montevista town, Davao de Oro gather coconuts which they will sell as copra. MindaNews file photo by RUBY THURSDAY MORE

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 February) – The provincial government of Davao de Oro plans to establish village-type coconut oil processing centers that will be managed by the small farmer cooperatives in various areas of the province.

Rolando S. Simene, department head of the Provincial Veterinary Office, said during “Wednesdays at Habi at Kape” that there are small fabricators who can manufacture extracting machines that can produce oil at small or medium scale.

He said encouraging farmers to engage in value-adding will boost the coconut industry of the province.

“We have proposed several processing equipment for the coconut industry.  I think agriculture will prosper and develop if our farmers engage in… processing. What we intend to do is to have these kinds of equipment in the coconut sector for a village-type coco oil processing,” he said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines produced 14,717,293.91 metric tons (MT) of coconut with husks and 14,321,201 MT of mature coconuts in 2021.

Out of this total, Davao Region was the top producer in the country with an output of 1,983,241.63 MT of coconuts with husks and 1,975,891.05 MT of mature coconuts.

Simene said this project would enable farmers to process raw coconuts without shelling out huge sums on their part to establish and operate costly processing facilities, which only big businesses could afford.

He said the benefit of establishing coconut oil processing centers would also have a snowball effect on the flourishing livestock and poultry industries in the province because the demand for copra meals would drastically increase.

He said copra meal, a coconut by-product, is a vital ingredient in the production of feeds for livestock and poultry.

“I have not yet seen coconut processing managed by a cooperative in a small scale or medium scale because this technology in processing coconut is only limited to big scale companies as it requires huge investments. But there are technologies now that can process even in a backyard,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)