Rockefeller-Backed FarmerLink Helps Philippine Planters Milk the Coconut Boom
Generosa Gonato's mobile phone beeped with a warning for the coconut farmer in the southern Philippines to be vigilant against bud rot, a common disease that is fatal for coconut trees. The message included the symptoms and how to treat it.
"So I monitored my trees and discovered some have it," Gonato told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone. She followed the advice - cutting down and destroying the affected trees quickly to stop the disease becoming an outbreak.
Gonato started receiving messages in October, telling her when and how to put down salt - a cheap way to boost coconut yields - how to spot pests, and how to better manage her finances.
The messages are part of FarmerLink, a pilot project set up by a consortium to make small-scale coconut farmers in the Philippines more resilient to shocks like natural disasters and pests, and increase their productivity. . .