Fairtrade NAPP is changing the lives of coconut farmers in the farthest of the Philippines

By February 4, 2019 No Comments

Mr. Kuldeep, CEO NAPP and Ms. Natasha Erika, Program Officer for Philippines

visited and had focused group discussion with producer organisation – DAVNOR and its officers to share their learning and experience as a newly Fairtrade certified small producer organization in the country.
Widely known as the “tree of life”, the coconut tree (Cocos Nucifera) has an endless list of products and by-products derived from its various parts. From the tree, to the husk, to the oil – from food to drink, to shelter to cosmetic purposes. However, in general, coconut farmers in the Philippines have limited knowledge on the products being produced from whole nut. For them, receiving a good sale from selling copra or whole nut is enough. With Fairtrade it started to change gradually.

Goat-house materials purchased by DAVNOR members from their Fairtrade Premium Fund
DAVNOR is composed of 83 members, 41 are female from three different municipalities: Tagum, Malita and Sta. Cruz. They were certified in August 2018. In just few months of certification, they received a significant amount of Fairtrade Premium Fund which they used for income generating project of its members like goat raising, goat breeding, general merchandise and rice wholesale. The group plans to use other funds for training, credit for members, purchase of personal protective equipment for farming, payment of social services and others as decided by the General Assembly.

Mr. Ceredonio Yap, holding a coconut seed ready for planting. Yap is a member and officer of DAVNOR Fairtrade Coconut Farmer’s Association (DAVNOR) in Davao del Norte, Philippines. “I inherited my 5 hectares’ land from my parents and I can’t remember since when I started farming. Coconut is my only source of income in providing food, shelter to my family, education to my 4 children. I never thought that Fairtrade can bring huge difference in our lives. Fairtrade is our hope and it’s beautiful.”

All coconut certified small producer organizations in the Philippines are located in Mindanao. Mindanao comprises one-quarter of the Philippines’ total population and hold significant potential for economic growth. However, instability brought about by poverty, marginalization and conflict has impeded development in many areas throughout the region.  Despite its vast natural resources and agricultural potential, Mindanao remains the poorest section of the country.

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