By Antonio L. Colina IV
Davao City – A portion of the P75 billion coco levy fund will be allocated to research and development, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) administrator Romulo J. dela Rosa said.
The PCA chief said the research and development component of the fund will be inputed into the creation of the Coconut Industry Development Roadmap (CIDR) once the proposed Coconut Industry Trust Fund (CITF) becomes a law. The Lower House passed its own version of the CITF last September 25.
Dela Rosa said the roadmap will be developed by industry players themselves that will encompass the entire coconut industry.
He emphasized that research and development will be needed to increase the capabilities of farmers related to improving the production capacity and improvement of the entire coconut industry.
The coco levy funds will be utilized also to fund the education of the children of the coconut farmers, he said.
Dela Rosa underscored the need to modernize the coconut industry with farmers being able to diversify into other coconut-based products, which means lessening dependence on coconut oil.