At least 500 jobs are expected to be generated by the anticipated construction of a PHP120 million coconut processing plant in Balingasag town, Misamis Oriental province. In a statement on Thursday, Provincial Board Member Erik Khu said the First Integrated Community Cooperative (FICCO) first presented the project two years ago, noting that it is the right time to make feasibility assessments this year. “FICCO can afford to buy it at PHP15 per kilo, considering that they can process eight by-products out of one fruit-bearing coconut tree,” he said. In its report, FICCO said it approved the project funding to buy a piece of equipment that would be housed in an eight-hectare area in Barangay San Isidro, Balingasag. According to its projection, the facility should initially open on July 8. The processing plant can produce long and short coconut fibers, coco peat, activated carbon and powder for briquettes from its shell, while the fruit and juice from coconuts can produce coco meat, starch, and oil. On May 24, Khu said FICCO, in cooperation with the Balingasag municipal government and the provincial labor and employment office, would hold a job fair exclusive for coconut farmers for the processing plant. He said every village in the town would have a quota of 7,500 coconut trees to hit the target of 60,000 coco drupes daily. FICCO also had a memorandum of understanding with Del Monte Philippines Inc. located in Bugo village here as the buyer of suitable coconuts for tetra-packed ‘buko’ juice that would soon be sold in the market.
Source: Philippines News Agency