Kugi: A Couple’s Secret to a Productive Coconut Farm

Published Mar 18, 2023

Charlie and Rosario Lambenesio farmer partners from President Roxas, North Cotabato, have lost interest in coconut farming due to low productivity and volatile prices. Rodents had infested their farm, wrecking the coconut trunk, crown, and nuts. While the traders control the pricing and typically purchase nuts at the cheapest price.

The couple took part in a series of training sessions in coconut farm management and diversification through the Coconut Resiliency 1 Project, which was supported by the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, MARS, and Franklin Baker. They were inspired to put their newly acquired knowledge to good use on their farm. They applied mulch around the coconut trees, added composted goat and chicken manure, planted leguminous plants, and carried out cultural sanitation, and pest and disease control. Over a year, they observed a 53% increase in their yield of coconuts, from an average quarterly harvest of 4450 kilograms to 6895 kilograms.

During the farm visit of IRDF Executive Director Arze Glipo and  IRDF President Rene Ofreneo, the couple eagerly reveals their farm management strategy.  “Kugi“, is a Bisaya word that means “to exert conscious effort to accomplish something”. The couple’s “Kugi” principle is focused on farm productivity to increase income for the family while preserving the soil and protecting the environment. They tirelessly put their knowledge into practice, grew from their farming mistakes, and are now enjoying the fruits of their labor.

As their way of giving back to the community, they help organize the Kamarahan Coconut Farmers Association (KAMCOFA), a group of small coconut farmers engaged in the consolidation and trading of whole nuts in their Barangay. Additionally, they made their farm available as a learning site for farmers wanting to learn methods of farm diversification and effective coconut farming techniques.