Palm oil plantation, processing plant pushed for towns

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A 10,000-hectare (ha.) palm oil plantation and processing plant for each municipality is being pushed in the region to help banana farmers who are being affected by the fusarium wilt, an official said.

Ireneo D. Dalayon, Federation of Cooperatives in Mindanao (Fedco) chief-operating-officer, speaking in Monday's edition of Davao Press Club's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Annex, said this year they have already discussed with the different municipalities in the Davao region like Asuncion, Kapalong and Santo Tomas of having a plantation and processing plant for oil palm for each municipality.

"The first thing we looked at here is how to help the small banana farmers who and if they are infected with the fusarium wilt. It will be difficult for them to shift to another plant," he said, adding the usual scenario for plantations facing the disease is abandonment.

Dalayon said for instance, if they shift to planting rice there is a need to put up canals for irrigation which will cost time and money while planting corn will also be difficult since it is controlled.

He suggested that each municipality have 10,000 hectares available for putting up oil palm plantation in their vacant lands.

"We also suggested the putting up of one processing plant per municipality which is 25km away from the plantation," Dalayon said.

He also said banana growers can also intercrop palm oil trees with their bananas especially if they are in lower lands while those who are in elevated areas can intercrop cacao trees with their bananas.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 01, 2014.


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