The coconut is the second priority commodity of the Province of Oriental Mindoro, calamansi being the first, and is now added to the Philippine Rural Development Project commodities with enterprise development interventions.
The Department of Agriculture together with the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agrarian Reform and Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Council (RAFC) have recently expressed their support to establish the “Oriental Mindoro Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) Processing and Marketing” enterprise through the funding of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
The subproject, which was unanimously approved by the MIMAROPA project advisory board, was one of the prioritized interventions during the ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding for the VCO commodity of Oriental Mindoro.
It was one of the long awaited interventions that will address some of the relevant issues in the VCO industry in the province. Given the continuing national and international economic demand for VCO, developments such as this will be an opportunity for entrepreneurship to its stakeholders.
“This is a good prospect, especially the VCO and other coconut by-products,” noted RAFC Chairman Melquiades Macalintal as a positive comment, given the difficulties being experienced by the coconut farmers today that discourages some to continue their ventures.
According to 2017 data, Oriental Mindoro is the third highest producer of coconut with husk among the provinces of MIMAROPA, with Palawan and Romblon being the first and second. In the same year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that Oriental Mindoro was able to produce 71,130.06 metric tons of coconut with husk from the 772,478.55 metric tons produced by the whole region.
Proposed by the Calima Socio-Economic Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CASEMPCO), the goal of the VCO processing and marketing enterprise is to upgrade the present processing facility of the cooperative. The processing is an important part of the value chain and, with a more advanced technology, they will be able to increase the volume of production and at the same time produce oils with higher and even export quality.
Specifically, it aims to benefit the 197 members of the cooperative to improve their form of livelihood and give them a profitable business which they can expand even after the implementation of PRDP. Majority of the members of CASEMPCO are coconut growers.
The VCO processing and marketing enterprise has estimated cost of P15.20 million which will mainly be used for the acquisition of new equipment and construction of new processing building.