The Provincial Local Government of Quezon has set its development plan for the coconut industry with a vision of a market-driven coconut industry with empowered and resilient farmers engaging in profitable coconut-based enterprises contributing to inclusive and sustainable agricultural development.
According to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the Quezon Coconut Industry Development Plan aims to establish provincial nurseries for high-yielding coconut varieties, replace senile coconut trees with high-yielding varieties and increase coconut productivity through proper cultural management and fertilization.
A team from Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture led by Dr. Pedcris Orencio, Program Head for the Research and Thought Leadership Department, Dr. Jose Medina, former ISARD Overall Program Coordinator, Dr. Rex Navarro, Coordinator cum Facilitator, Carmen Nyhria Rogel, Program Specialist, and Ruth Jazrel Bandong, both from RTLD, recently had a virtual meeting with the representatives from Quezon PLGU to discuss this possible collaboration.
Dr. Orencio and Dr. Medina presented the pilot project’s highlights, gains and interventions.
The team said SEARCA intends to support the proposed implementation through the ARD model specifically in the areas of value addition to the coconut products, linkages of the farmers to the market and farmers’ organization in the province.
The program also aims to increase farmers’ income through crop diversification and intercropping such as coffee, cacao, banana, and improve the economic conditions of coconut farmers through engaging into value-adding activities and enterprise establishment.
The OPA is strengthening collaboration and commitment with the Department of Agriculture, Philippine Coconut Authority, Non-Government Organizations and other national and international agencies towards the implementation of their coconut industry development plan and find additional funding support from other agencies to further support these initiatives.
With this, a project titled “Piloting and Upscaling Effective Models of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development” is set to scale its gains through the application of the project’s implementation model in Quezon province.
The proposed project will be anchored on components such as technical assistance, capacity building, knowledge management, and linkage and network, the team added saying that the ARD model will be customized based on the gaps and needs of the sites and will be translated into development strategies.
To scale the ARD implementation model, a Guidebook that illustrates the step-by-step process for setting up models of inclusive and sustainable agriculture and rural development in communities will be used.
The Guidebook which contains the research outputs, lessons learned, challenges and recommendations from the ISARD pilot project will serve as a reference for scaling the project across different crops and various locations locally and internationally and as a guide in the whole process of establishing and implementing effective models of ARD.