THE Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) was launched in Lucena City on June 24, outlining the steps the government plans to take in upgrading social protections, raising productivity, and organizing coconut farmers to help them arrive at more viable business plans.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a statement on Monday that the plan, which it launched with the Philippine Coconut Authority, hopes to also address the development of hybrids suitable for Philippine conditions, farm rehabilitation and improvement, integrated coconut processing and the development of downstream products, research, and support services.

The CFIDP is authorized by Republic Act No. 11524 or the Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund Act, signed on Feb. 26, 2021 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. The plan was approved on June 2 via Executive Order No. 172.

The development plan will receive funding from the P75-billion Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund, which had been created under the law.

“(The) CFIDP aims to increase the income and productivity of the 2.5 million coconut farmers in the country; promote poverty alleviation, education, and social equity; and rehabilitate and modernize the Philippine coconut industry,” the DA said.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said modern farming methods, better varieties, and a science-based approach has the potential to improve yields drastically to 150 nuts per tree annually from the current 40 to 45.

Coconut farmers can avail of the various CFIDP programs if they join the National Coconut Farmers’ Registry.

“Eligible members include: farm owners and/or owner-tillers, coconut growers who own not less than 0.5 hectares of land with at least 20 coconut trees; tenants or tenant-workers; and farm workers or laborers,” the DA said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave