The regional office of the Department of Trade and Industry here is engaging several communities in Davao Oriental in the production of coconut-based materials.

Provincial Director Belenda Ambi of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) XI in an interview said that more coco-twining communities are now being developed to meet the demands for coco-nets.
Other than coco coir and coco peats, DTI has noted an increase in demand for coco-nets which are made through twining the coco coir taken from the fibrous parts of coconut husks.

Ambi revealed that a mining company in Agusan del Sur needs 10,000 square meters of coco-nets aside from the Department of Public Works and Highways which needs coco-nets for prevention of soil erosion.

With the presence of a coco coir plant in San Isidro Municipality, a coco twining community has been established in that town in coordination with the Davao Oriental Coco Husk Society Enterprise (DOCHSE).

Ambi explained that the coco coir plant provides the coco fiber for the twining community to twist. The plant then buys back the produced twine.

“We are happy to learn that members of the twining communities are earning P700 per week,” Ambi said noting an increase in family income.

DTI Davao Oriental is set to develop other twining communities in the towns of Banay banay Governor Generoso, San Isidro, Lupon and Mati and will be providing them twining machine to meet the demand for coco-nets.

“We cannot produce the twines in just one area as this is labor intensive; we really have to look for other areas,” Ambi said.
In like manner, a community in Camansi, Mati City is being tapped to produce pots made from coco fiber, in support of the greening program of the city government.

The community production of coco-based materials has become noticeable with the increased in number of coco coir plants which now reaches 11, spread in various areas in Davao Oriental.

DTI Davao Oriental has yet to determine the exact volume and value of coco-nets purchases from the province but its record shows that coco coir and peat pitched the highest sales in export and domestic market and facilitation activities of DTI, raking US$ 4.7 million for the first semester of the year out of the US$ 4.9 million total sales for the same period.

Major buyers were Fiber Technology Expert, Yiwu Husk Factory, Mati Peat Top Corp., KAKOFINCO of Governor Generoso and Oz Wisphil Trading Corp.

Aside from, coco coir and coco peat, DTI Davao Oriental has also seen the potential of the province to produce coco soy from coconut juice on top of various coco-based food products that are now being produced locally.

As Davao Oriental takes lead in coconut production, Ambi has seen the importance of establishing a coco house in every municipality to integrate the showcase of coco-based products and coco food in each town.

Ambi said the concept is under discussion at the Provincial Coconut Industry Development Council of Davao Oriental. “This is a work in progress,” she said.

Davao Oriental is said to be the land of coconuts producing an average of a billion of nuts per year from its 156,837 hectares of bearing trees. Another of 3,597 hectares have been planted but are still not bearing, data from the internet says.

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