Integrated Mobile Service Units for Coconut Farms Add to favourite plans winners. jpg The coconut is dubbed “The Tree of Life” because of the different products that may be derived from its various parts. All typical farms have fruit bearing coconut trees. A fully integrated mobile processing unit (diesel engine powered), that can be hooked like a trailer, able to extract virgin coconut oil from coconut meat, coconut coir and coir dust from the husks, and charcoal from the shell, will benefit all small and medium sized coconut farmers. These 3 products are heavily traded in the global market.

At present, farmers are limited to copra production and roughly earn only 150 euroes per hectare of planted coconuts per year. This mobile processing unit will allow neighbouring farmers to become a contiguous coconut farm able to produce a significant volume of high value products currently exported by the region. The Business What is your product/service? The mobile processing unit appeals to the fact that the coconut farmer can produce 3 coconut products without the need to invest in costly equipment and infrastructure. No more high overhead costs to worry about during non-harvest months.

The mobile processing unit costs 3,500 euros. The service will involve product sharing schemes to avoid unnecessary cash outlays for the farmer. The farmer may pay for the rental fee and sell his products on his own, or he may further avail of the services of the group. He may purchase packaging material from the operator, while the marketing arm of the group, for a profit, will consolidate all processed outputs for the domestic and global market. The Philippines has 12 million hectares of farmlands, where 3. 1 million (25%) is planted to 324 million coconut trees. . 5 million coconut farmers manage these farms and roughly 25 million Filipinos depend on the coconut industry, whose main industrial product is coconut oil from copra. In recent years, the capacity utilization of coconut oil mills has dropped to below 50%. These stakeholders have expressed their concerns that the stagnant industry growth and productivity is caused by multi-sectoral disunity, market disincentives, global competition and sophistication. This project will modernize coconut processing and promote efficient utilization of the entire tree.

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In this activity, these farmers will have access to technology and support structure to finally capitalize on the vast economic potential of virgin coconut oil, coconut coir and dust, and charcoal. The mobile units will provide low cost processing and marketing services to coconut farmers right at their doorstep. Explain how you will sell your product/service (marketing strategy) and how you will reach your customers (distribution strategy)? The technology for various coconut processing activities is available.

But only those who can afford the huge investment for equipment and infrastructure can profit from this technology. This concept uses small service units that can move from one place to another, with proper coordination, within neighboring farms. It renders obsolete the use of expensive equipment and infrastructure, and eliminates transport costs for raw materials. With minimal investment, coconut processing is now accessible to all coconut farms currently limited to copra production. They can now produce high value products that can be consolidated for the export market.

Especially now that the current manufacturers, and consolidators, of virgin coconut oil and coconut coir could not come up with a sizeable volume to fully take advantage of global market. They will still however be tapped for a concerted coconut research/development and marketing program for a collective improvement of the coconut industry. A federation of coconut stakeholders will be established; composed of the owner of the mobile processing unit (investors), farmer groups, government representative, and marketing representatives.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (www. pca. da. gov. ph) will handle all training/organizing and product quality certification needs of the farmer groups. The farmers will provide all necessary information to establish a consistent supply base. And a marketing arm will consolidate and negotiate for the marketing of all processed products. The owners of the processing unit will manage the operation of the mobile processing units. Each component will be autonomously maintained as separate cost and profit centers.

The Philippine Coconut Authority identified the virgin coconut oil, coco coir & dust, and charcoal, as potential winners in the global market. A campaign is already in place, which the government spearheads, to preserve coconut plantations and diversify coconut processing activities. A partnership with the local government units will provide the needed credibility for the project. This idea will ride on this government initiative and provide the concrete means to implement the production of other high value coconut products.

Fifty mobile processing units could be strategically deployed to service the different regions of the country. The rated capacities of these units will service 200,000 hectares of coconut farms (7% of total hectarage for coconut trees) annually. This will not directly compete and significantly displace the other stakeholders of the coconut industry. Development How does your business improve the local living standards (social and environmental)? The supply chain for coconut products involves very complex marketing channels.

This concept will simplify the supply chain concentrating profits towards the farmers and the distributors. It will discourage farmers to shift from traditional but more sustainable farming practices in favor for instant cash crops. With more products to distribute, and adding value to otherwise underutilized waste materials, income generation becomes more flexible and long term. And since the ecological biodiversity of the area is conserved, the farmer can increase his productivity by being able to integrate other sound farming activities with the coconut tree farm, i. e. intercropping and livestock farming.

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