In 2009, ACDI/VOCA was awarded a $6.6 million project by USDA. Through the project, ACDI/VOCA monetized 13,200 MT of soybean meal and used the proceeds over a four-year period to improve the capacity of smallholder farmers in targeted Mindanao provinces. The program helped the farmers produce food and income sustainably, increasing food security.
CoCoPal was named after cocoa, coconut, and the Palayamanan concept of rice-based diversified farming. (Palay is the word for rice and kayamanan means wealth, together they form Palayamanan.) The CoCoPal project improved the incomes and food security of 25,000 farmers and 125,000 indirect beneficiaries. Through six components, the CoCoPal project also improved post-harvest processing facilities and practices and standards for cocoa, coconut, and rice production. The six components were:
- Established and managed 75 village technology and extension farms (VTEFs) of the CoCoPal Palayamanan-integrated farming system
- Trained and provided extension services to 25,000 farmers in CoCoPal Palayamanan production and processing practices, linked to a value chain approach
- Established and rehabilitated 150 post-harvest facilitates to enhance accessibility to improved technologies and productivity of processed products
- Created and supported 300 cocoa, coconut, and rice planting materials businesses to ensure good genetic material was available to farmers for productivity, as well as to create profitable and sustainable businesses
- Established 300 organic inputs facilities to increase the availability of and reduce the cost of organic fertilizers and bio-pesticides for Palayamanan farming systems
- Formed 250 agroenterprise clusters for enhanced value chain integration and participation by smallholder farmers and micro-enterprises
ACDI/VOCA worked with four partners across the three value chains: Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines (CocoaPHIL), LandCare Philippines Foundation, Philippine Association of Small Coconut Farmers Organizations (PASCFO), and Philippine Rice Research Institutes (PHILRICE). These partners collaborated with local government units, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), cooperatives, farmers’ associations, and other local partners in the CoCoPal targeted areas.
The project targeted eight provinces and two large cities from Region 9 (Western Mindanao) and Region 11 (Southern Mindanao), namely Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Sur, Zamboanga City, Basilan, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao City, and Compostela Valley. There were 114 municipalities and 583 barangays (villages) targeted within these provinces and cities.
To learn more about ACDI/VOCA’s work in cocoa, click here.