Improving coconut production in The Philippines using mobile technology

Informational SMS, arrives on a farmer’s cell phone. Photo provided by: Ana Herrera

Coconut is the largest stone fruit in the world. Sold in the food and beverage industry, harvested for construction purposes, used in cosmetics, and transformed into decorative objects, the coconut has many applications. While a quarter of the world’s coconut production stems from the Philippines, the country’s coconut farmers are the poorest around the world. Farmers earn about $2 a day. Climate hazards, pests and unfavorable market market conditions impede the overall production.

Ana Herrera Photo: Kurt Richter

To improve the viability of coconut farming in the Philippines, researcher Ana Herrera won a grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation to implement FarmerLink, a Grameen Foundation project that connects farmers with agents who teach them how to operate a successful coconut farm. It’s called FarmerLink. And it’s key component is an Early Warning System which alerts farmers to potential hazards from natural shifts in the environment.

Listen to our interview with Ana here

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