DILIMAN, Quezon City—To help boost the coconut industry in the country, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) spearheaded a special free seminar on fresh young coconut.
Experts from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) were invited to talk about the health benefits, uses, and investment opportunities for coconut.
Renato Barriero, project development officer at the ACPC, shared the investment opportunities for smallholder farmers including coconut farmers. One of these is through the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) which provides easy access to loans through lending conduits such as cooperatives, non-government organizations, and rural banks.
Through PLEA, a farmer can take a loan of up to Php150,000 for his farming venture. Barriero also discussed the requirements for this and other ACPC loan programs.
PCA’s Market Research and Promotions Division chief Rosella Villaruel discussed the uses, health benefits, and business opportunities related to coconut. With a number of health benefits of coconut water, Villaruel called this the “fluid of life”.
“Buko (young coconut) drinks can substitute our vitamin intake, flushes out toxins in our body, and delays aging,” she remarked.
She underscored the food business opportunities using buko meat and water as well as on processed coconut products such as coco peat fertilizer, handicrafts, natural dye, and many others.
ATI Director Alfredo Aton graced the event and shared that the special seminar was conducted to help coconut farmers explore value-adding activities, that is aside from copra production. He furthered that the Secretary is keen to help farmers acquire the needed capital for their respective ventures.
About 50 individuals from Metro Manila attended this special free seminar held last April 2, 2019 at the ATI Central Office compound.