DILIMAN, Quezon City—Known as the “tree of life,” coconut is a source of many products and by-products that are essential to human life, thus, opening many agribusiness opportunities to Filipinos.
To showcase the potential of coconut farming and processing, Gawad Saka awardee Gerardo “Boy” Cordero shared practices that can increase the income of coconut farmers in the country.
“I realized that income in coconut is much higher compared with rice production. In coconut seedlings alone, a hectare can earn you a million of pesos,” he said in an interview on the Agricultural Training Institute’s (ATI) teleradyo program.
While the Philippines is the second largest producer of coconut in the world, coconut farmers remain in poverty because most of them rely on copra production alone. However, Cordero stressed that farmers can also start processing coconut into vinegar and sugar.
“In vinegar production alone, you can earn up to Php400,000 in a four-year production period. But you can earn more if you venture into coco sugar,” Cordero added, as he spoke of its high market demand due to its health benefits.
Cordero recommends the Catigan variety which can be used not only for copra, but also for coco vinegar and sugar. This variety has more meat and can start bearing fruit two to three years after planting.
He, likewise, stressed that for coconuts to be productive, the soil needs to be well-fertilized. Organic fertilizers can be used such as vermicompost and vermi tea.
Moreover, to maximize his farm space, Cordero has also planted fruit trees under and alongside his coconut trees. He has also managed to raise livestock and build a fish pond in the coconut plantation.
Cordero, who was awarded as the 2017 national Gawad Saka Outstanding Coconut Farmer, owns Gernil’s Farm. It is an ATI-certified School for Practical Agriculture located in Koronadal, South Cotabato.
His interview on ATI’s teleradyo program, “Agri Asenso”, aired on August 14, 2021. This is in line with the celebration of the 35th National Coconut Week which pays tribute and recognition to the benefits derived from the coconut industry.
“Agri Asenso” airs every Saturday, 5PM-6PM, via DZRH AM and DZRH News Television. It is also being streamed live through the ATI and DZRH Facebook pages.