‘Road to a Million’ Update
Last August 2021, HOPE, GCash, and Century Pacific Food Inc. embarked on a partnership that aimed to plant one million coconut trees in Mindanao. To date, this project has distributed 875,025 coconut seedlings to 6,899 smallholder farmers across the provinces of Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Surigao.
“Our coconut trees are old and don’t bear as much fruit as before,” says Marites Sucias, a 48-year-old woman farmer from Glan, Sarangani Province. “We’ve been hoping to replace them, that’s why we’re very thankful to have received these seedlings!”
Charles Bartolaba, a 33-year-old farmer from the same community, also expresses his gratitude: “The seedlings will be a huge help not only for us farmers but also for our children–the next generation. Thank you so much!”
The seedlings that the farmers have planted will replace their senile coconut trees, making their lands more productive and providing opportunities to increase their income. Aside from that, planting coconut trees also benefit the planet through 100% carbon sequestration–every coconut tree can capture 418 kilograms of carbon dioxide in its lifespan of up to 60 years.
Since 2014, HOPE has been involved in agricultural interventions with the goal of uplifting the livelihoods of the country’s smallholder farmers, 60% of whom live below the poverty line. By providing them with training, tools, and new technologies, these coconut farmers generate additional financial support for themselves and their families.
“We are very grateful to have partnerships like these in order to create a long-lasting impact for small-holder farmers and the environment,” says Ilusion Farias, Managing Director for Friends of HOPE, Inc. “Our new goal at HOPE is to plant 7 million trees and hopefully, this partnership inspires the country to help achieve this goal.”