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The Role Of Small Coconut Farmers And Farmers Organizations Vis-A-Vis The Environment Issues In The Coconut Sector

With reduced govemment intervention in economic activitles and welfare services, farmers organizations must assume a more active role in order to make up for inadequacies of govemment programmes. They should strive to function as autonomous, efficient and self-sustaining units.

In the environmental field, the coconut sector is currently confronted with the challenge to promote sustainable agriculture. Moreover, the sector must promote the Lise of coconut-based products which are safe, ecoiionlical and healthy.

In the Philippines, the afore-stated objectives are being threatened by three major problems in the coconut sector, namely: poverty and land conversion, insecure land tenure, and inadequately technology.

In cooperation with govemment agencies, academic Histitutims and nongovemment organizations, farmers organizations must conduct a determined and sustained effort to inforin and educate farmers on environmentally sound technology and practices. Farmers' groups should also assist farmers in the formulation and adoption of progammes to rehabilitate the environment.

To address the problem of poverty, farmers organizations must assist their members in securing their land tenure, developing emiomically viable fanns, establishing niral based processing of coconut products, and marketing their products.

Finally, farmers' organizations must lobby for the enactment of laws and policies that will restiscitate and develop the coconut industry on an environmentally sustainable basis.

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