SEARCA and the Provincial Government of Quezon meet to discuss the Development of Coconut Industry Growth Areas

  • By Ruth Jazrel M. Bandong
  • 11 April 2022, Monday

Province of Quezon – For the first time in two years, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) came face to face with the Provincial Government of Quezon (PG Quezon) to discuss the progress of the collaborative action research project on the Development of Coconut Industry Growth Areas in the Province of Quezon on 7 April 2022 in Pagbilao and Lucena, Quezon. The meeting was spearheaded by Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Program Head; Ms. Anna Gale C. Vallez; Program Specialist; Ms. Rochella B. Lapitan, Senior Program Associate; and Ms. Ruth Jazrel M. Bandong, Project Associate, all of SEARCA’s Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD).  Partners from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) Quezon present in the activity were Ms. Ma. Leonellie G. Dimalaluan, Acting Provincial Agriculturist; Mr. Alexander C. Gacia, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist; Ms. Monina A. Jacobo, Agricultural Center Chief II (Coconut Division Head); and Mr. Lorenz Crispino, Agricultural Technologist.

The SEARCA team and OPAg Quezon posing for a group photo in the Office of the Governor.The SEARCA team and OPAg Quezon posing for a group photo in the Office of the Governor.

Dr. Orencio led the discussion on the three-year project on coconut industry development in Catanauan, Quezon. His presentation took off from the review of the preliminary activities of the project with Catanauan as its pilot site. He mentioned that the proposed project is envisioned to develop an integrated and vibrant coconut industry and value chain in Quezon Province through the strong partnership between and among government and non-government organizations and stakeholder groups. Dr. Orencio emphasized that an important feature of the project will be to promote collectivism as an underlying principle in harnessing institutional, organizational as well as individual capacity. He then proceeded to discuss the project description emphasizing the expected outputs of the project which are: (1) developing municipal and provincial commodity road maps; (2) capacity development of stakeholders in technology development and adoption in the value chain; (3) strengthening organizations and stakeholders in leadership and managerial skills; (4) forging partnerships among industry players; and (5) knowledge products development.

The OPAg representatives gave their thoughts on the presentation and commented on the technical and administrative aspects of the project. They thanked SEARCA for its usual support and facilitation in developing the coconut industry in their province.

Dr. Orencio presenting the project updates to OPAg Quezon.Dr. Orencio presenting the project updates to OPAg Quezon.

The SEARCA-OPAg Team also met with Hon. Danilo E. Suarez, Governor of Quezon Province and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) – Region IVA to discuss the project. During the meeting, several agenda were discussed such as the turnover of the Quezon Coconut Research & Extension Center (CocoQuest) in Catanauan, updates on the current state of the coconut industry, and some ways to move forward with the industry development. A comprehensive discussion on innovative measures and programs that could be taken to raise the standard of living of the coconut farmers was also tackled.

SEARCA team with Governor Danilo E. Suarez.SEARCA team with Governor Danilo E. Suarez.

Dr. Orencio giving Governor Suarez some products of calamansi farmers involved in the ISARD pilot project in Oriental Mindoro.Dr. Orencio giving Governor Suarez some products of calamansi farmers involved in the ISARD pilot project in Oriental Mindoro.

SEARCA, PCA, OPAg Quezon, and Quezon Provincial Governor’s Office sit down to have a talk on the status of the coconut farmers in Quezon.SEARCA, PCA, OPAg Quezon, and Quezon Provincial Governor’s Office sit down to have a talk on the status of the coconut farmers in Quezon.

As a follow through to these meetings, the SEARCA team together with the OPAg Quezon, will have a scoping activity on 28-30 April 2022 to further gauge the coconut industry situation in Catanauan. The activity will lead to the development of scoping report and baseline assessment tool. These will all contribute to implement the project’s next steps which are setting up the project team for the baseline assessment, packaging the project plan and budget, and initiating the draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

The launching of the Development of Coconut Industry Growth Areas Project is under SEARCA’s 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP). Grounded on its 55 years of experience in agricultural and rural development (ARD), the project, through SEARCA, is actively engaging and collaborating with rural communities and relevant organizations which focuses on Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN) and aims to deliver BETTER, BIGGER, and SMARTER impacts and outcomes to agricultural and rural development stakeholders across Southeast Asia.