PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp.’s social investment arm Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) has partnered with an oil and fats manufacturer to provide coconut farmers in Quezon province more possible income streams from their harvest’s byproduct.

“We really believe that alternative livelihood initiatives like these are necessary to ensure that we keep coconut agriculture alive, while also helping our farmers with their harvest,” PSFI Executive Director Sebastian C. Quinones Jr. said in a statement.

The PSFI and JNJ Oil Industries, Inc. officially launched this year the Collaboration for Coconut Productivity and Nurturing Farmers’ Trade, or Project Coconut. The project helped open a production facility in Unisan, Quezon Province in April. A second facility located in Agdangan, Quezon was also opened in November.

These hubs process copra into oil, oleo chemicals, and biofuels, while the husks are also processed to produce beads for jewelry, household items, and other items.

These facilities are open to all coconut farmers in the two municipalities and neighboring areas.

“The creativity to turn waste into lamps and wallets has amazed me. I know this alternative economy we are trying to build can do so much more and it is great to see the farmers developing skills they can use in the future,” Arold Jao, assistant vice president for finance of JNJ Industries, said.

“This project has come a long way from the initial discussions we had with JNJ Industries over two years ago. It is heart-warming to see how the hubs have developed new skills and an increase d enthusiasm for alternative products,” Shell International Biofuels Sustainability Compliance Officer Helen Scholey said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang