Stakeholders to address low price of copra in Samar

CATBALOGAN CITY.  Jan. 31 (PIA)-- In a Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting recently conducted, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) together with national government agencies and stakeholders discussed some strategies to address the low selling price of copra in the province.

PCA 8 Regional Manager Jeffrey delos Reyes said, “There is a need to address the issue. The farm gate price of copra and the milling price have a difference of P7.00-P9.00 per kilogram. This means that the traders and millers are getting richer yet the farmers, poorer.”

Erwin Abonales, project development officer of PCA, stressed in his presentation that the copra commodity has a low buying price in Samar.  The price of rice is P50 per kilo while copra is at P12 per kilo.

“A farmer must at least sell (five) 5 kilos of copra to be able to buy a kilo of rice,” he added.

With this, the TWG will hold a Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting on Feb. 4 where various sectors and stakeholders are expected to be present. There will be a dialogue on the different problems the local farmers face and on how to come up with an enabling environment for them. 

An enabling environment  is one with a social  dialogue which includes the participation of stakeholders, develops a supportive legal and policy framework and their implementation, has institutional strengthening including coordination, clear roles and responsibilities of key entities and capacity strengthening of all actors so they can play their roles.

Meanwhile, DTI Samar Provincial Director Meilou Macabare proposed, “We must have an integrated development for the farmers. After this, there must be other activities to be offered. There must be a holistic approach.”

“The objective is to help these farmers by connecting them to big traders,” delos Reyes said.

The TWG further aims to conduct Samar Investor’s Forum to further help the farmers. A roadmap will likewise be set to see the progress of the plans and activities thereafter. (NBQ/GMT/PIA-Samar)

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