By Mike Dela Rama
LEGAZPI CITY -- The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Bicol has disbursed the incentives for coconut farmers amounting to P3.2M under the participatory coconut planting project, benefiting 890 farmers in the region.
In an interview Monday, regional information officer Ed Bailon said the 890 farmers represent 85 percent of the 1,037 total farmer-participants who complied with all documentary requirements, validation and assessment.
“The first step to avail of the project is to enroll with the PCA regional office and the setting of their nursery for seeds nuts. This project requires the coconut farmer to plant 75 seeds in a minimum of ½ hectares or maximum of 750 seed nuts for 5 hectares,” Bailon said.
From 2017 to 2018, the national government has allocated P14M. However, if the performance of the farmer-participants is low, the remaining fund can be utilized for the coconut seedling dispersal program.
As of July 2018, PCA Bicol received 2,340 farmer-participants; however, only 1,037 of them passed the preparatory phase of the project.
“In the preparatory phase, a farmer is required to satisfy the basic requirement which is operation of a nursery,” he said. “The monitoring start from the setting of seedling nursery then followed by field planting, this means that the coconut seeds are already rooted.”
In this project, the farmer-participant will be paid P18 per seedling with a maximum of 100 seeds per hectares and P22 per rooted (or stabilized) coconut seedlings with a total of 100 maximum seeds planted.
In Bicol, Camarines Sur has a total of 983 farmers from 15 municipalities enrolled in the project; followed by Masbate with a total of 402 farmers from four towns; Camarines Norte with 340 farmers from 8 municipalities; Sorsogon has a total of 195 farmers enrolment submitted from 10 municipalities; Catanduanes has 253 representing 3 towns; and Albay with 167 farmers from 6 towns.