Small-Scale Production of Filtered Coconut Oil in Support of the Plant Oil Stove in the Philippines
A complete package of technology and equipment was developed, evaluated, and pilot tested for sustainable small-scale production of filtered coconut oil to support the promotion of the plant oil stove — an environment-friendly stove that uses all types of plant oil as fuel. The sustainability of the technology is ensured by the establishment of a plant oil production area and oil analysis laboratory at the Plant Oil Technology Center, base d at the Department of Agricultural Engineering of the Visayas State University, the Philippines. The plant oil production area is equipped with a high capacity weighing scale, on e hammer mill, three oil expellers, one settling tank, one filtering tank, and two storage tanks that can process about 400 − 500 kg of copra daily. Except for the weighing scale and oil expellers, all the equipment were designed and fabricated by the project. Technology for the small-scale production of coconut virgin oil, naturally fermented vinegar from coconut water, and laundry soap from filtered coconut oil were also developed to increase the income potential of coconut farmers. As a showcase of the technology, a village level oil processing centre was established in Barangay Ciabu in Bayb ay, Leyte, Philippines, in cooperation with the Local Government of Baybay and the Ciabu Primary Purpose Cooperative, a coconut-based cooperative with about 1500 members. The processing centre is provided with processing building, smoke-free copra dryer, and all the needed oil production equipment found in the Plant Oil Technology Center. Using the data available, the economic viability of the technology was determined by conducting a financial feasibility study through the use of the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) framework that gave a net present value (N PV), internal rate of return (IRR), and benefit- cost ratio of PhP658,534, 36%, and 1.07, respectively, indicating the economic viability of the established coconut oil processing line.