CALABARZON, Philippines –The coconut farmers of the Southern Tagalog province have good reasons to collectively breathe a sigh of relief. The green landscape of coconut trees seen from the main roads of Southern Luzon exemplifies the triumph of the coconut industry stakeholders against the coconut scale insect (CSI). This sight is a complete reversal of the terrain punctuated with yellow leaves and withered bracts of the infested coconut trees which left farmers distraught and hopeless during the height of the pest’s wide-scale infestation in 2011 to 2014.
This year's recipient of GawadSaka Award, for the most Outstanding Coconut Farmer of 2015 is Mr. Edgar G. Buhian, 52-year-old from Poblacion, Initao, Misamis Oriental, Region X. Mr. Buhian is a Geodetic Engineer by profession. He gained considerable knowledge and skills in coconut farming with his almost 8 years of involvement in the coconut industry as farmer, leader and entrepreneur.
Designed to promote community-based coconut enterprises for a sustainable coconut industry and inclusive growth, the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM) under the leadershipof Secretary Francis N. Pangilinanand the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) spearheaded the "National InvestmentSummit for Coconut-based Farm Enterprises" on February 26, 2015 at the SGV Conference Hall, Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Conference Center Manila in Makati City.
With the theme "Establishing Community Enterprises Towards a Sustainable Coconut Industry", the 3rd National Coconut Farmers Conference was held on February 26 (Wednesday) at the Conference Hall of the National Irrigation Administration, NIA Road, EDSA in Quezon City. The conference was organized by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (OPAFSAM), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Coconut Industry Reform Movement, Inc. (COIR).