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Agrarian reform beneficiaries belonging to the Barangay Liptong Small Coconut Farmers’ Association (Bliscofa) recently received a decorticating machine worth P760,000 from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
With its farming assistance program, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) proposed to DOLE this processing machine for mass production of virgin coconut oil (VCO) that the farmers’ organization can venture into.
“Aside from its health benefits, the market for VCO is huge and is yet to be exploited. According to the domestic and foreign markets, it is expected to grow at 30 percent annually,” said provincial agrarian reform officer Stephen Leonidas.
Studies made show that VCO helps to control body weight. It also helps control blood sugar levels in diabetics. It is also an excellent moisture for dry skin.
The coconut by-product processing project is composed of six machines for decorticating, pressing, unraveling, twining, spooling and waving coconut husks into coco coir. These coco coirs are produced into coco net logs which are used in textile production and coco nets which controls soil erosion.
The DAR prepared and submitted the project proposal to DOLE for the decorticating machine. The skills training which was conducted for the operators and workers before the launching of the project, was funded and assisted by DAR and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
“This project aims to maximize the use of coconut to augment the coconut farmers and generate jobs for the local residents,” said Leonidas.