Tubod, Lanao del Norte – Hundreds of families are now earning regular income after becoming part of the coco coir industry here in capital town Tubod. The workers belong to the Malingao Community Services Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MCOCO) which initiated the project to help its members earn additional income.
The livelihood program is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture through its Mindanao Rural Development Program – Community Fund for Agricultural Development (MRDP-CFAD) and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte (PGLDN).
Through the support of DA and the provincial government, MCOCO was able to open its coco coir production plant on April 21, 2014.
With a monthly output of 5,000 kilos of coco fiber, MCOCO now buys coconut husk from among its members and currently employs hundreds of local residents to transform the raw material into various products like coco twine, baled fiber and geonets.
Coco coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, rope, fishing nets and mattresses.
Coir fiber make up about a third of the coconut pulp. The rest, called peat, or coco dust, is biodegradable, but takes 20 years to decompose. Once considered as waste material, coco dust is now being used as mulch, soil treatment and a hydroponic growth medium.
“Governor Khalid Dimaporo strongly supports the coco coir industry and we are now working hard on the expansion of our local coco coir plant so more people can benefit from this thriving industry”, said Provincial Agriculturist Letecia Ditucalan. VNL/PIO-LDN