PCA vows 2017 will be a ‘remarkable year’ for the coco industry

By: Dominic D. Yasay December 15,2016 - 09:34 PM


THE Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is set to rehabilitate the damaged coconut farms in the country as part of its efforts to reinvigorate the coconut industry by 2017.

The agency will exhaust its budget and resources in replanting more coconut trees in regions devastated by the massive earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda that hit Central Philippines, particularly the Visayas, in 2013, as well as address the problem on pest infestation in coconut farms.

PCA administrator Avelino “Billy” Andal, in a press briefing yesterday at the CAP Center Cebu on Osmeña Boulevard, told reporters that a huge chunk of the agency’s P1.4-billion budget for 2017 will be allocated for these restorative efforts.

Aside from this, PCA will also utilize the P5.7 billion worth of unused funds that has been left untapped and have accumulated for the past three years since 2013.

This budget will also be used in processing coconut fibers and developing a coconut hub.

“By 2017, we will spend as much money under our (disposal) because we still have available funds from 2013, 2014 and 2015 (that were left unused).

We will fully utilize all the remaining funds amounting to P5.7 billion. (The year) 2017 will be a remarkable year for PCA,” Andal said.

Of the 2017 budget, P5.5 million will be appropriated for Cebu province to purchase 110, 000 coconut seedlings for next year, said PCA Central Visayas manager Timoteo Lago Jr.

These coconut trees will be replanted in 1,100 hectares of agricultural lands, including the coconut farms in the northern Cebu towns of Tudela and Borbon and on Camotes Island.

PCA is also exploring inter-cropping in these farms to plant other in-demand crops like cacao and coffee, which are a great source for another revenue stream for coconut farmers.

With rehabilitative efforts implemented after the calamities in 2013, Lago said the coconut farms in Cebu are already pushing towards 100 percent recovery rate.

Andal added that the demand for coconut export products remains to be steady at this point, and to sustain the supply of coconut products for local and international exports, he encouraged the public to help in planting more coconut trees.

“(The more, the better it will be for our farmers) and for the economy in general. We encourage people to plant coconut (because that is the best crop we can plant),” he said.

PCA is also addressing the problem on the rampant logging of coconut trees all over the country because of industrialization. In a week’s time, Andal said the agency will release a moratorium urging provinces to stop the issuance of permits that will allow persons or companies to cut coconut trees.

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