LEGAZPI CITY, April 15 (PIA) -- The formalization of RA 11524 or Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act will help in the industrialization of the coconut farming communities which may consist of about 258, 948 farmers in the Bicol region.
Emilie Lobos, Project Development Officer of Philippine Coconut Authority V, said at Ugnayan sa Bicol today that they target to register 138, 507 new coconut farmers in the region to add to the existing 120, 421 farmers - all of them to receive various services and assistance from the government to achieve sustainability, by the virtue of the said law.
RA 11524 was signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in February this year.
Free trainings on coconut production and processing technologies, value addition, diversification, sustainable farming methods such as organic farming, financial literary, and farm business programs will be provided to them by PCA and other government agencies.
Crop insurance will be implemented in order to aid farmers financially during calamities.
Under RA 11524, PCA will also launch credit and social protection program which aims to lessen their vulnerability and boost the capacity of their supply.
Lobos also said that the coconut farmers and their family members will also have access to medical and health services, and scholarship programs through this trust fund act.
The government will also unleash coconut processing facilities to various cooperatives or local government units in order to acquire better qualities of products. In this way, farmers may have standard references of prices per product.
Coconut farmer groups and cooperatives will be empowered and integrated to solidify their participation in different platforms and services of the government.
The mentioned law will improve the implementation of the coconut authority's research and developments, strengthen coconut hybrid varieties and innovate domestic and international market techniques to increase productivity and yields.
Lobos invites all Bicolano coconut farmers, farm owners, owner-tiller, grower, tenant/tenant-worker and farm worker/laborer to register in the National Coconut Farmers and Registry System to obtain the said services and be able to choose their own farmer-representatives in PCA Board.
To register, they can go to their barangays or nearest PCA office and fill out NCFRS form. They can also register online through bit.ly/ncfrscocolevy. (PIA5)