Climate Resilient Coconut Farm Management

12 October 2021

While the coconut sector has its strengths, it faces countless challenges and momentous problems such as the gradual decline of the prices of copra and many other coconut products, low productivity and aging palms. These trends contribute to the high incidence of poverty in regions with a substantial share of coconut farms.

In addition, extreme weather events such as droughts and typhoons also pose a threat to the coconut sector. Although specific weather events cannot be directly linked to climate change, all weather events are affected by climate change. Increasing global temperatures and humidity are leading to more severe droughts and stronger typhoons.

Fortunately, coconut farmers have several options to address these emergencies and contribute to greater sustainability in and beyond their farms. This training curriculum encourages the adjustment of farm practices towards sustainability and improved resilience. It intends to enable coconut farming families to make informed decisions for the future of their farms. The curriculum guides trainers and participants in discussing the impending economic risks, the threat of climate change and opportunities to cope with these. At the end of several modules, the participants are prompted to reflect on the options discussed and to initially decide and document the agricultural practices, they plan to implement in their farm.

Moreover, it is hoped that this curriculum will inspire out-of-school youth to explore possible options. While employment opportunities are decreasing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be livelihood opportunities right in their family’s farm or in a farm of a neighbor willing to enter into a lease agreement.

This curriculum is primarily aimed at small coconut farmers and their families who are in the position to implement short and long-term in their farms. The chief objectives are:

  1. The participants recognize the implications of market risks and of climate change on coconut farms and understand options for adaption and mitigation.
  2. The participants and their families are enabled
    • to make informed decisions for the future of their farms, and
    • to prepare Farm Development Plans to improve the economic and ecological and performance of their coconut farms.

Besides the suggested 15 hours for lectures and workshops, a half day should be allocated for a farm visit. In total, the training would cover three (3) days with at least six (6) hours ‘class’ (excluding breaks) per day.

The curriculum was developed in cooperation with the Gingoog Bay Alliance (GBA) during 2020 and finalized in 2021. Initially 115 Barangay Agricultural Workers were trained. Out of this group, 30 persons were trained as trainers in February 2021. Based on feedback from the participants of the trainings and the trainer team, several suggestions were incorporated in the draft curriculum and adjustments to the sequence of some sections were made.

Here is the link to
Training Curriculum ‘Climate Resilience Coconut Farm Management’