Two cooperatives in the town of Sofronio Española were awarded projects by the Department of Agriculture following a groundbreaking ceremony held on July 26-27.

Each received over ₱29 million in projects, including buildings and equipment. The Agricultures Cooperative of Sofronio Española (ACSE) was provided with facilities for white copra processing and coconut vinegar, while the INA Producers Cooperative received facilities also for white copra processing and cooking oil production.

Raul Aguilar, Division Chief I of PCA Palawan, said they are substantial aids for the two cooperatives, enabling them to create jobs in the community, especially for coconut farmers. It also aims to encourage coconut farmers to increase their production due to the favorable buying rates offered by the cooperatives.

“Sa dinami-dami ng cooperative na sinabmit natin sa DA Philmech, napakapalad ng ACSE at INA. Sila ang napili para sa proyektong ito ng DA, grant ito at walang babayaran ang kooperatiba, pag-ibayuhin natin ang management nito upang makatulong sa komunidad at sa mga coco farmers natin lalong lalo na upang mapalago pa ang kooperatiba,” Aguilar said.

The estimated purchase price for whole nuts is ₱6 per kilo, although this may change depending on the cooperative.

Meanwhile, according to Hermogenes Chua, president of ACSE, the project given to them by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in collaboration with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Palawan signifies the attention and support the agency is providing to the cooperatives and the coconut industry in this town.

He also requested the support of the cooperative members for this project.

“Sana maging successful tayo sa copra business na ito, hiling ko ang suporta ng mga miyembro natin, dahil alam naman natin na simula pa lang ito, nagpapasalamat po ako sa mga national agencies natin, sa DA at sa PCA, sana makatulong tayo sa komunidad natin,” sabi ni Hermogenes Chua.

These two major projects were implemented by the PCA under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), which is overseen by the DA.