Some 20 women-farmers from 4 villages are now engaged in a gainful home industry that produces eco-friendly nets made of coconut fiber.
The women underwent hands-on and on-sight training on coco fiber utilization, more particularly in the production of geonets or eco-friendly nets made out of coconut, under the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) since July 10.
The farm workers are from the villages of Cawayan 1, Cawayan II, Ibabang Tayuman and Ilayang Tayuman.
Quezon Provincial Agriculturist Roberto D. Gajo said the geonet production is a continuous livelihood project, where the 20 trained village women coco farm workers or five each from the four barangays, will echo their know-how and skills to other members of the coco farmers association.
Gajo said the coco geonet undertaking is part of the “Serbisyong Suarez sa Agrikultura” (Gov. David Suarez’ agricultural services programs) through the OPA-Quezon, in partnership with the local government units (LGUs).
The livelihood training sessions in the four barangays led to the women farm workers’ involvement in coco geonet making as their livelihood to augment their income.
He said that various agricultural services have been undertaken as part of the Livelihood Projects for Coconut Farmers Federation in Quezon, with scheduled trainings being held at the OPA training center in Pagbilao.
Quezon province is known as the “country’s coconut capital”, where extensive coco farming activities, research and development are implemented to boost coconut production – such as the now popular coco sugar with the vast ‘makapuno’ breeding site in Alabat, Quezon and its agricultural trade fair and “Niyugyogan Festival” annual festivities in August.
Maria Lota Ruby, president of the “Samahan ng Manggagawa ng Geonet” (SMAGNET), an association of coconut farmers producing the geonet in Mulanay town, serves as trainor for the coco coir or fiber twining and weaving.
“Layunin nating matulungan ang mga mamamayan sa lalawigan, lalo’t higit ang mga kababaihan na magkaroon ng karagdagang pagkakakitaan mula sa bunot ng niyog o ang paggawa ng geonet (it is our goal to help Quezonians, especially the women coconut farmers to earn extra income through their alternative livelihood on geonet making from coconut husks),” Ruby said.
The livelihood project is part of OPA’s mission on the empowerment of farm-based organizations; entrepreneurial development among farm families and the systematic, balanced, integrated, complementary utilization, management, conservation of physical and natural resources for sustainable agricultural development in the province.
Besides the geonet production, OPA also spearheaded its Intensified Programs on Coco Twining in Mauban on July 6; Innovating Coir-Based Products in Quezon in Gumaca from July 11 to 12; Package of Technologies for Banana Growers in Guinayangan on July 11 to 12; Extending Markets for Quezon Products in Gumaca on July 12; Livelihood Projects for Coconut Farmers Federation in Quezon in Pagbilao on July 17; and Quezon Farm Business School (QFBS) launching in Tiaong on July 18 among other agricultural services and programs. (PNA)
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