The Status, Problems, and Constraints of Small Coconut Farmers In Oriental Negros , Philippines
Jose Edwin C. Cubelo, Ph.D.
Faculty, Silliman University, College of Agriculture
Dumaguete City (E-mail: Sircubs@yahoo.com
The study analyzed the status and constraints of small coconut farmers in Oriental Negros, Philippines, to provide the basis for evolving interventions to boost their productivity and income. A survey methodology was employed involving Coconut Development Officers, and small coconut farmers from 9 municipalities.
The farmer respondents averaged 56.73 years old in age, had 9 years of formal education, and operate coconut farms whose size averaged 1.46 hectares. They are members of SCFOs in their respective baranggays. Among the PCA-initiated programs, only 56.4% have availed of the corn seed dispersal project, 39.8 % in trainings on coconut technologies, and only 19.5% availed of the plant now pay later program involving improved coconut seedlings. Majority experienced a decline in coconut yield, which was attributed to poor crop nutrition, the most neglected agronomic practice. Many follow a corn-coconut intercropping scheme in about one third of their coconut land holdings. Very little product diversification activities are taking place.
Based on the existing realities of the responding farmers the following problems and constraints were identified. 1) Low coconut yield due to poor agronomic practices; 2) Low farm productivity due to the farmers’ monocropping orientation, 3) Low income due to the absence of product diversification; 4) Inefficient marketing system; and 5) Lack of Support Services.The following recommendations are advanced: A) Assessment and promotion of alternative coconut-based cropping systems; b) Product diversification and by-product utilization; c) Implementation of improved agronomic practices; d) Strengthening and mobilization of SCFOs; and 5).Provision of support services.
Key Words: productivity, agronomic practices, product diversification