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DA-10 bolsters coco, oil palm farmers, ups high-value crop prod'n

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--In part of the Department of Agriculture’s nationwide celebration of "High Value Crops Week", the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA-10) presented its programs, projects, and eyed opportunities for the coconut and oil palm farmers of northern Mindanao.

"Maghatag mi og free medical or health assistance para sa atong mga coconut farmers, especially katong mga nanigulang na. For crop insurance, ang PCIC partner nato ana para sa katong mga coconut trees na matumba, caused by natural disasters. [We have] scholarships in partnership with CHED and training of coconut farmers and their families in partnership sa DTI and TESDA," said Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)-10 Project Development Officer Ralph Marcel Estaño, during the DA-10’s High Value Crops Week conference – ‘road towards exportation’ segment, April 20.

(We will be giving free medical or health insurance to our coconut farmers, especially the elderly ones. For crop insurance, we have partnered with the PCIC for coconut trees that are damaged by natural disasters. We also have scholarships in partnership with CHED and training for coconut farmers and their families in partnership with DTI and TESDA)

Estanio continued to enumerate other national program components of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP), such as the "COOP" plan for Coconut Farmers Organization and Development, the hybridization of operations and research, intercropping improvement, integration of coconut processing and downstream products, innovative research projects, and support services on infrastructure, promotions, and credit.

PCA-10 targets to distribute a total of 82,368 coconut seedlings across all the provinces of northern Mindanao for 576 hectares of farm area, along with provision for one composting facility for biodegradable wastes per province, under the coconut fertilization program.

They will also be providing free F1 oil palm hybrid seedlings and fertilizer support for a total of 217 hectares under their smallholder oil palm development project.

In their strong advocacy for intercropping, they will also be giving out "pinakbet seeds"—eggplant, okra, string beans, squash, and Chinese cabbage—to 30,170 farmers at 18 grams per farmer.

To avail of these benefits, Estanio said that their primary requirement is for the farmer to be registered in the Coconut Farmers Registry System (NCFRS) for coconut farmers and the Oil Palm Farmers Registry System (OPFRS) for oil palm farmers.

In order to register, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age and be a farm owner with at least 0.5 hectares of land and 50 coconut trees. Their farm workers and tenants must be engaged in harvesting nuts, processing copra, and cultivating coconuts and intercrops. Then they can fill out the registration form and present their government ID.

To qualify as a coconut farmer beneficiary after being registered in the NCFRS, one must provide proof of ownership of a 0.6–1.0 hectare coconut farm area and must have their farm clustered in one or several adjoining barangays.

For oil palm beneficiaries, after being registered in the OPFRS, one must also provide proof of ownership of an oil palm area that is only a maximum of five hectares and also clustered in one or several adjoining barangays.

Estanio further reported that exported coconut-based products are the region's top commodity, totaling an economic contribution of $707 million, or over P39 billion, in Region 10, 2021. They forecast its global demand to increase by 25% annually in the next four years. (TAAG/PIA-10)

About the Author

Recthie Paculba

Regional Editor

Region 10

Camiguin Information Center Manager 

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