Highlights from the Coconut Husks Stakeholders Forum 2020

Last December 16, 2020, the Coconut Husks Stakeholders Forum was held in Crisbelle Crown Center, Digos City. This program is facilitated by the Integrated Rural Development Foundation (IRDF) staff under the Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth Through Valorization of Coconut Husks Project.

The forum started at about 10:00 AM in the morning. After the preliminary program and introduction of participants, the forum was formally open with the opening remarks and presentation of the rationale of the forum and the over-all objectives of the IRDF project made possible through a video presentation of Executive Director Arze Glipo. The activity is facilitated by Johnriel Chamen.

A video presentation of the project dubbed as “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth Through Valorization of Coconut Husk” was also shown during the forum. Later on, Clement Jacqout, Managing Director of Biogrow Substrates Philippines, made a presentation of the Coconut husk business opportunities highlighting Biogrow’s interest in expanding its venture into the Philippines.

Risa J. Baculad, agriculturist from the PCA Davao Del Sur office provided the participants the highlights of various plans and programs currently implemented by her office highlighting also the revalidation process for qualified coconut farmers and farmworkers to be included in its list for future plans and programs. Elisa A. Roque, from the DTI Davao Del Sur Business Development Initiatives Department presented its current interventions for SMEs with highlights on the current programs that will benefit coconut small holder organizations in the province. Cesyl Faith Pillado, Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) focal person from Davao City revealed all the potential benefits for qualified farmer organizations as soon as they apply for assistance from her office which is an attached department of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Esma Lingcon, an agriculturist from the office of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO-DAVAO DEL SUR) also positively responded to our invitation as resource person for the event and highlighted the current initiatives, programs and services in his office which can also be acquired by small farmer organizations.

While there were questions accepted by presentors during each presentation an open forum was also provided after all presentations have been made to entertain more clarifications from the participants. Recommendations and suggestions were also welcome and discussed. Bong Chamen, presented also during the forum future activities to be done to ensure farmer organizations involvement to the project and that includes IRDFs project interventions which include both organizational and technical development initiatives.

Before closing the forum, some participants were invited to share their feedbacks and cited their excitements and hope for the project as they have seen an opportunity for economic growth and job opportunities that will highly benefit the farming community and the women and youth.

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