Many development advocates have focused on uplifting the status of women in the Philippines by empowering them in the social, economic and political spheres. A key driver behind the advancement of women’s rights has been the enactment of the Philippine Magna Carta for Women 13 years ago which seek the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

The IRDF BIOGROW LV project  entitled “Promoting Economic Growth through the  Valorization of Coconut Husk” aims at empowering rural women by promoting economic opportunities in coconut farming communities in Mindanao.  The cocohusk processing facilities set up in the Demo Center and at the cooperatives  combined have  already created 113 jobs of which 53 are female workers.  In addition, there were 237 women have gained increased income opportunities from coco fiber, geo-net, organic fertilizer production and banana chips making. In 2022 alone, 173 women were trained in coco fiber twinning and coconet making, out of whom 139 actually engaged in rope making earning Php 2,000 each and another 15 produced Coconets earning an average of P2,000 each. The women centers in Matanao, Taluntalunan and Sumbak have produced organic fertilizer that helped 73 women earned at least PhP1,000/ month. There were also 10 women entrepreneurs in Taluntalunan that engaged in banana chips- making earning additional income of PhP 1,200/month

Before the project, women before were doing household chores but now, they have work to do thanks to the project and are able to buy what they wanted and help augment their family’s income.   A woman chipping operator earned an average of PhP 5,000 since the start of operations. Additional benefits for the community include increased sales of basic goods, increased opportunity to strengthen solidarity among members of the community and provided venue for sharing and stress management for women.

The Demo center  has also produced organic fertilizer and showcased the benefits of organic vegetable production among mothers in the community. Through this community vegetable garden, the local school, the Tamlangon Elementary School  has signified its willingness to engage with IRDF throught its “Gulayan sa Paaralan” project. In fact, the school offered their  5000 square meter land for the Demo Center to set up a  chips ageing and drying station.



Authored By: Isidra Bagares

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