COCOFARMCOOP Program: A Big Help Just in the Nick of Time

Magsaysay Agriculture Cooperative was registered at the Cooperative Development Authority-Region 11 Extension Office on October 25, 2019, with office address at Purok 5, Poblacion, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. Since the area was hit by a series of earthquakes, the cooperative operation only commenced in January 2020 in Copra Marketing with a starting capital of PhP 318, 000.00. With insufficient capital to cater to the farmers’ copra produced, the coop availed a loan from the broker with interest and a condition that all copra purchased by the cooperative be delivered through the broker. In 2020, they incurred losses not just due to the pandemic but also due to the oversupply of copra in the market. Deliveries to the oil mills were delayed with a wait time of at least three (3) weeks to a month. The same scenario was experienced in the second and third year of operations but thankfully, the cooperative was able to realize a net surplus.

The year 2022 was a breakthrough for the cooperative as it did not only realize a bigger surplus it was also identified as one of the cooperatives- beneficiaries under the Coconut Farmers Organization and Development through Cooperatives (COCOFARMCOOP) Program.

The coop has received its first-ever assistance from a government agency which is from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) through the COCOFARMCOOP. The grant received was used as additional working capital in the copra marketing. With this grant, the coop’s capital was adequate to purchase at least 25 tons of copra, enough for one load of a ten-wheeler truck that will be delivered to the Oil Mill in Davao. “Daku kaayo ang tabang sa financial grant nga nadawat sa coop tungod kay kulang jud ang working capital sa coop. Timely usab kaayo ang pagkadawat sa financial grant tungod kay paspas na ang delivery sa copra didto sa Oil Mill sa Davao City.” (The financial assistance received was a big help to the coop since its working capital is insufficient. The awarding of the grant was very timely since the delivery of the copra to the Oil Mill in Davao City is now faster.), Chairperson Christopher D. Rafaila said.

The reception of this grant has gained admiration from among the coconut farmers, officials, and other organizations in the locality. The coop is not only receiving funds but is also receiving a boost of community confidence. With the increasing number of members, the coop’s capital has also increased. As a result, the coop was able to pay its loan from the broker and now has the freedom to deliver its copra to any oil mills in Davao City. However, delays in copra delivery are still experienced because of the unavailability of trucks.

As a beneficiary of the COCOFARMCOOP Program, the officers of the cooperative have attended free training conducted by the CDA. These trainings have equipped the officers in understanding the coop’s operation and allow them to address and make decisions for the betterment of the cooperative and its members.

As the COCOFARMCOOP Program aims to increase the productivity in the coconut sector and improve the lives of coconut farmers, we extend our gratitude to the PCA and CDA for their support and trust they have placed in us. This grant will remind us to continue and sustain the coop’s operation for us to serve the coconut farmers in our community,” said Chairperson Christopher D. Rafaila.