Furthering the appreciation and understanding of research and development (R&D) outputs on coconut products, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 2 Coconut Industry brings its thriving coconut stakeholders at the University of the Philippines Los Baños–Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (Annex) on November 15, 2022.

Twelve industry stakeholders, led by Ms. Manilyn Ponce, Regional Coconut Industry Focal Person, seeks to gain knowledge from the office through Assistant to the Vice Chancellor Ms. Fides Marciana Z. Tambalo on OVCRE’s innovative techniques and strategies for efficient needs assessment, planning, implementation, performance evaluation, and reporting of RDE activities, capacity development, generation of resources, and networking practices. #

Promoting and increasing appreciation and understanding of the boundless opportunities and potentials for coconut from planting to processing, the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), an extension institution of the UPLB-OVCRE, headed by Dr. Marilyn B. Brown welcomes the benchmarking team on November 15.

R&D outputs and other relevant information on potential fertilizers, such as MykoPlus, for coconut production are being presented by Dr. Jocelyn Zarate, University Researcher III; the production of cheese coagulant using a coconut by-product is being presented by Mr. Rober T. Almazan, University Research Assistant II; Ms. Jennifer Saguibo, University Researcher II, on low-cost alternative medium; and Ms. Ranel Acda, University Research Assistant I, on Mr. Nico Dumandas’ protein-enriched copra meal, a feed ingredient for livestock and aquaculture. #

Down to their third destination, the R2 coco team travelled to San Pablo City, Laguna, for a benchmarking visit to the coconet processing plant of the RNM Garden in Barangay San Buenaventura on November 16, 2022.

Mr. Russel Jardiolin, Founder of the RNM Garden, introduced their business to the team, toured them to their workshop and production area, and shared some business and supply and logistics tips for raw materials with the delegates.

He explained in detail how the coconut husks are made into fiber and coir, the process of sorting and classifying them, and the machines and equipment they use until they are woven into twines, ropes, nets, and ornamental wattles.

Mr. Jardiolin also discussed the use of vetiver grass, also a part of their garden, as an essential plant with the coconet, whose roots grow around 300 meters below the ground and could prevent erosion, making it sustainable and climate resilient.

RNM Garden’s market is mostly government offices needing coconets for infrastructural vegetation and currently employs 15 workers. You may read more about them here: http://rnmgarden.com/

Composed of DTI R2 Coconut Industry focal persons, coconut farmers and stakeholders, and local government unit and Philippine Coconut Authority representatives, the team immersed themselves with the successful MSMEs engaged in coconut to gain new perspectives, have a greater understanding of the industry’s potential, and have the ability to put what they have learned into practice in order to reap its financial rewards.

Pasciolco Agri Ventures, formerly Pasciolco International Inc., the maker of Quezon’s Best products, inspires the coconut benchmarking team on their award-winning and internationally recognized ventures on November 16, 2022 in their processing plants in Tiaong, Quezon.

The company, located in Lusacan, Tiaong, Quezon, is a manufacturer-direct exporter of fine food and specialties. It has been in operation since September 1996 and has developed various types of coconut products and made various types of innovations to produce coconut vinegar. Their preservative-free coconut jam has also gained popularity since 2000 for its distinct flavor and natural taste.

Pasciolco Agri Ventures produces coconut sugar and coconut syrup, as well as by-products such as coconut aminos, a natural seasoning, and balsamico from coconut sap.

As of date, the organic-, halal-, and kosher-certified products’ main markets are Europe, the UK, the USA, Canada, and all countries in Asia. It also benefits and employs approximately 100 farmer families.

Carrying the goal to promote and develop the coconut industry in the Cagayan Valley, the benchmarking team studied the market presentation of the company to bring home, cascade, and apply to the region. #

The DTI R2 coconut benchmarking team goes to Villa Nava, Gumaca, Quezon Province on November 17 to visit the Gumaca Coco Coir Consumers Cooperative (G4Cs), a cooperative long engaged in coco/geonets and coco peat production, for the last leg of the activity.

Mr. Noel T. Florido, Chairperson of G4Cs, gave the participants an overview of the cooperative and how it was made to be, its development over the years, and shared its best practices to inspire the Cagayan Valley coconut industry team.

The coco team prepared a report for action planning and conducted a debriefing after the benchmarking tour in Calabarzon. #

Strengthening partnership with the coconut community between regions, the Cagayan Valley coconut industry benchmarking team visited the AGORA Store in UP Los Baños, OTOP Philippines Hub in Tiaong, the DTI Quezon Provincial Office, and the DTI Calabarzon Regional Office as part of their itinerary on 15-18 November 2022.

Accelerating Growth Through One Research and Extension (AGORA) Store houses OTOP products from Los Baños, Laguna, and its neighboring localities. The team had a quick visit to the store to benchmark their product and pasalubong display dynamics after their study visits to the UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension and the UPLB National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology on November 15.

On November 16, Quezon’s Best and other Quezon Province’s top products are conveniently displayed at the wood-built OTOP Philippines Hub in Tiaong, Quezon, which gives off a really cool atmosphere against the scorching heat. The team happily posed with their purchases, hoping to replicate the look and feel of the hub.

Furthermore, DTI Quezon Provincial Office PD Julieta L. Tadiosa welcomed the team in the PO on November 17 and discussed the importance and wisdom behind recommending the successful coconut MSMEs in their province, hoping to have them pay it forward in Cagayan Valley.

Finally, DTI Calabarzon Regional Director Marissa C. Argente sent the team home with some words of inspiration and advice, as well as a brief discussion on marketing and branding strategies for their best local products and for the global market. #

Date of release: 15-19 November 2022