Zambo Sur farmers group receives PhP1.6-M equipment from DTI

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Oct. 30 (PNA) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) under its flagship program, the Shared Service Facility (SSF), has released PhP1.6 million diesel-powered decorticating machine to coconut farmers’ organization in Dinas, Zamboanga del Sur.

Maria Socorro Atay, DTI-Zamboanga del Sur provincial director, on Friday said the recipient of the machine is the Dinas Small Coconut Farmers Organization, the members of which are coconut farmers from 19 of the town’s 30 barangays.

Atay said the decorticating machine, which was released last week, will help the farmers improve their income by maximizing the potentials of coconut husks and boost the exports of the products.

Coco husks are processed to produce coco coir and peat, with coco coir being further processed into geotextile through twining. It is then used to make geo-nets, used for riprapping to prevent erosion.

Coco peat, on the other hand, is primarily used for plant cultivation as it can hold large quantities of water, just like a sponge.

Rodrigo Guira, Dinas SCFO president, together with other officials and members, received the facility located in Barangay Legarda Uno, and promised to use the facility to the fullest to help uplift their income.

Atay encouraged all the beneficiaries to utilize the facility to produce geotextiles as there is a big market for it both locally and abroad.

Dioscoro Duran, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)- Zamboanga del Sur provincial director, echoed Atay’s statement citing that coconut by-products are in demand for export.

Dinas Mayor Basilio Vidad thanked DTI regional office for the project seeing it as a way to improve the farmers’ quality of living. (PNA)