P838,497M ALLOTTED TO PCA's PLANTING/REPLANTING AND FERTILIZATION PROGRAMS
P838, 497 M allotted to PCA's planting/replanting and fertilization programs
Philippine Coconut Authority Administrator Euclides G. Forbes has announced that the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Agriculture have allotted funds to PCA amounting to PhP 502,310 M for the massive planting/replanting program and PhP 336,187 M for fertilization program. "This is the biggest planting/replanting and fertilization programs ever implemented by PCA after the World Bank funded the SCFDP," he said.
With a total target of 138,125 hectares for 2012 alone, PCA will intensify coconut planting and replanting across the country by implementing Accelerated Coconut Planting and Replanting Project (ACPRP). It is composed of the following component projects:
- Participatory Coconut Planting Project (PCPP) which adopts a participatory and reward system approach wherein farmer-participants who have successfully raised, transplanted and stabilized seedlings on the ground are entitled to a monetary incentive - average of PhP 31.40 per tress of PhP 3,140 per hectare, provided that the participating farmers have the source of seednuts and the land suitable for growing coconut trees.
- Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project (CSDP) to be implemented in partnership with the private sectors and other government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Local Government Units (LGUs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) for the establishment of seedfarms. It involves the establishment of communal nurseries in strategic locations for the production of good quality seedlings for distribution to interested and qualified farmer-beneficiaries such as the DSWD's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.
- Indigenous People Outreach Program (IPOP) in recognition of the role of the Indigenous People (IPs) in the preservation and development of their ancestral domain. Priority shall also be given to IPs interested in developing their lands identified to lands suitable for coconut production. The project also aims to promote the right of the IPs to participate in the coconut planting program and to have a stake in the coconut industry development.
- Hatid Punla (HP) which aims to revitalize the existing PCA nurseries or seed production facilities, and if needed, the establishment of new coconut nurseries suitable for the propagation of the coconut seedlings. This shall serve as "trading post" or "bagsakan center" of seednuts produced from PCA major seedgarden and seed production centers like Zamboanga Research Center (ZRC) in Zamboanga City and the Coconut Seed Production Center (CSPC) in Aroman, Cotabato City in order to aggressively market the seednuts produced in the said centers.
Apart from the planting/replanting program, PCA is also determined to continue with its coconut fertilization program. Administrator Forbes said that it aims to immediately increase coconut production by applying fertilizer in nutrient-deficient coconut areas using agricultural grade salt (NaCl) sourced locally. He explained that the use of common salt or sodium chloride to fertilize coconut trees (at 2 kg per tree) is proven beneficial and practical means of increasing the yield of coconut by as much as 25% during the first year of application and up to 50% to 100% on the second and third year of continuous application. "It is the cheapest and best source of chlorine which will not only help boost the productivity of coconut but also enhance its resistance to long dry spell," he added.
For 2012, some 20 million low-bearing coconut trees or approximately 200,000 hectares shall be fertilized with salt or a combination of salt and organic fertilizers (chicken manure and coir dust). This shall benefit a total of 200,000 coconut farmers.
The Administrator positively stressed that these programs will be a big help for the coconut farmers to increase their income especially nowadays that the international demand for coconut products continues to rise.
COCONUT MEDIA SERVICE