TACLOBAN CITY: The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) here has already planted 1.8 million coconut seedlings all over the region as one of its rehabilitation projects to revive the coconut industry.
PCA Leyte provincial manager Joel Pilapil said they are optimistic of hitting the 3.2 million target trees for replanting by end of 2015.
“We have distributed dwarf variety because this produces faster than other varieties, the farmers can make use of its products in not less than three years after planting,” he explained.
To prop up the replanting program, every farmer is given PHP30 by the government for every planted seedling.
This is one of the PCA’s projects under Yolanda Recovery and Rehabilitation Programs (YRRP) alongside with coconut timber and utilization, coconut planting/replanting, coconut fertilization and coconut intercropping.
PCA also distributed mixed vegetable seeds for intercropping to different areas within the region as alternative source of income while waiting for the nuts to bear fruits.
“We cannot just wait for these coconut seedlings to grow, so we distributed seeds for intercropping. As of now, we already have 2,941 intercropped areas,” Pilapil added.
The funds used for these projects according to him, came from last year’s budget, which was not fully used.
Super typhoon Yolanda damaged 33 million coconut trees in Eastern Visayas and 13 million of which were totally damaged mostly from the coconut farms in Leyte and Eastern Samar.
Copra, a byproduct of coconut, was the primary agricultural source of income of farmers in the region before the 2013 disaster. PNA