PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo witnessed Tuesday the signing of three Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) aimed to augment the production of coconut in Cagayan Valley and eventually increase the income of coconut farmers in the region.

Arroyo, after inspecting the San Roque Dam in Pangasinan, dropped by the residence of Bayombong Bishop Ramon Villena in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya where the MOA signing occurred.

Click here for Election 2010 updates

The pacts were between the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU); the PCA and the Isabela State University (ISU): and among the PCA, Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and Rotary International District 3780 through Rotary Club of Centennial Quezon City.

The signatories included for PCA, administrator Oscar Garin; for NVSU, university President Marilou Gilo-Abon; for ISU, university President Romeo Quilang: and for the Rotary Club, lawyer Rufino Mijares.

Under the MOA agreements between PCA and ISU and NVSU, the two universities would support the government’s program to promote coconut culture in Northern Luzon including the provision of an initial and combined 1.6 million hectare land in their property which would be bounded by a perimeter fence and provided with seednuts and irrigation, among others.

The PCA, which is mandated to promote the development and growth of the coconut industry to benefit the coconut farmers and the coconut industry, and in charge of the implementation of the National Coconut Participatory Planting Program, would pay P7 for every good seednut sown by the universities.

The agreement between PCA and the Rotary Club also states that the universities would also be paid P7 for every good seednut by the Club as well.

The MOAs also stated that the plantable seedlings that would be withdrawn from the universities’ nurseries would be distributed to coconut farmers who would then be paid P16 for every “good transplanted seedling.”

The PCA shall likewise educate the coco farmers on proper intercropping to ensure the continued growth of the coconut seedlings.

National Coconut Participatory Planting Program aims to increase the production and supply of coconut for domestic consumption and export commitments of the Philippines, which is among the world’s top coconut exporter.

The signing of the MOAs came after the PCA has declared in a resolution, Northern Luzon or Regions 1, 2 and 3 as regular coconut regions suitable for planting of coconut and other related intercrops. (JMR/Sunnex)