MANILA – The Philippine Coconut Authority is urging farmers to produce their own seedlings as planting materials, with the dwindling coconut production due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon and the taking of coco trees to "biological rest" period to recover from the stress brought about by three successive years.
PCA Administrator Euclides Forbes said they are funding a very unique scheme of planting and replanting coconut plantations by urging coconut farmers to produce their own seedlings that they will plant in their own farm.
In turn, Forbes said the government will pay the farmers for the planting materials they produced and planted in their own farm.
"The plants are theirs. Only, the PCA monitors the progress of their project," he said.
For this year, the government is targeting the production of 13 million seednuts for distribution to target areas where coconut growing is highly suitable.
There are more than 60 provinces in the country for coconut plantation. Forbes said this should provide an opportunity for coconut farmers who know how to germinate coconuts in large scale.
He said the PCA will buy every seedling that the farmers can produce at P27 each.
The PCA is also giving free fertilizers for coconut, particularly salt which has been proven to increase coconut yields by several percent. About two kilos of salt are applied to a fruiting coconut tree.
Forbes reiterated the need to plant more coconut trees to meet the growing demand for many coconut products and by-products and not only coconut water.*PNA