THE Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office in Davao will distribute around 35,000 bags of fertilizers this year for nut-bearing coconut trees all over the region to maximize production.
In a phone interview, PCA-11 project development officer and focal person William Mortalla said the program is part of the government’s interventions in helping the coconut industry.
“Bisag gamay lang atong income o produkto pero kung maximize ang production, at least taas gihapon ang income. Naa pud tay programs na para mapataaas or maximized ang production sa coconut like fertilization program (Despite the income or production of the farmers is low, we could maximize its production so it will increase. We have programs to maximize production like fertilization program),” Mortalla said.
“Sa fertilization program nato, nagahatag ta og libre nga abuno pero didto ra pud intended sa mga bearing-coconut trees (In fertilization program, we give free fertilizers only to bearing-coconut trees),” he added.
Mortalla said they have identified the beneficiaries through coconut farmers’ organizations around the region. He added that the program was implemented in 2010 and this year, more coconut farmers will benefit from the fertilizers to be distributed.
“This is a continuous program,” he said.
PCA-11 encouraged coconut farmers not to depend solely on copra production since the country is now undergoing an extremely low price for copra or P14.30 per kilo.
Mortalla said the government is doing these interventions to encourage farmers from venturing other coconut products such as buko juice of coco sugar.
Mortalla said aside from free distribution of fertilizers to maximize coconut production, they also helped the farmers through planting and intercropping programs.
In 2018, Mortalla said the PCA-11 distributed around 200,000 cacao seedlings and 75,000 banana seedlings to coconut farmers.