KDF wants high-value fruit trees for Central Luzon

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- The Kapampangan Development Foundation (KDF) has announced the availability of coconut seedlings to Central Luzon provinces after distribution of free high-value fruit trees for local farmers.

KDF Trustee Sylvia Ordonez said that KDF and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) have Libreng coconut seedlings for Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Bataan, Zambalez farmers as alternative crops for idle lands and backyards.

"Region 3, the Kapampangan region which the KDF serves is a major rice producer. It is our farmers whose farms suffer when typhoons visit us, most recent being Lando. During good weather, the average income per has is 50,000 per year or 25,000 per cropping," Ordonez said.

She added that farmers in Region 3 should be given other options for the use of their lands where they can earn more, such as high value crops.

"Alternatively, if we want to encourage them to carry the role of feeding us with the needed rice, government should help them with better climate change resilient technologies and social protection when hit by bad weather," Ordonez said.

KDF in partnership with the PCA and Department of Agriculture Region 3 will plant one million coconuts and inter-crop them with High Value Crops like Cacao, Lanzones, Rambutan, Durian,Achete, tamarind etc.

Cacao alone gives the farmer additional P150,000 income to what one can earn from one hectare of coconut.

The fruit tree project classified fruit tree distribution according to area. The group targeted 300,000 for carabao mangoes, 100,000 for rambutan and 100,000 for longkong (a Thailand variety of lansones) in various areas of Central Luzon.

This as KDF, a non-government civic service group, is now set to plant an additional one million coconut trees in Central Luzon as supplement to its earlier initiative of planting one million fruit trees in various provinces of the region using certified seeds.

KDF president Benigno Ricafort said that "to plant one million coconut trees is a supplement to the more difficult initiative of planting one million certified fruit trees in Central Luzon." T

he planting of a million fruit trees is a 10-year project and seen as sustainable agricultural initiative for Central Luzon communities.

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