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PCA promises modernization will increase coconut production.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) promised on Tuesday that the nation’s coconut industry would continue to grow and be modernized.

Roel Rosales, the PCA administrator, stated during the Laging Handa public briefing that the administration led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who oversaw agriculture, is eager to increase coconut production.

“Gusto po nating mapalawak lalo ang industriya ng niyog sa Pilipinas dahil itnay ating source of income… So, tuluy-tuloy po ang pagtatanim natin at in this case, ang tinatanim natin is more superior than uri ng pananim — ang tawag po natin dito ay coconut hybrid, ito po ay combination ng high quality ng tall variety at dwarf variety (We want to develop the coconut industry in the Philippines because this is our source of income… As a result, we keep planting good seeds in this particular circumstance. It’s what we refer to as a “coconut hybrid” or a good combination of the tall and dwarf varieties, the man remarked.

Rosales said that by combining the “best traits” of the two types, more fruit is produced earlier on the tree.

He claimed that the plan can aid in the nation’s requirement to create both industrial goods and food.

The PCA implements comprehensive tactics for the coconut expansion program, such as hybridization, quick turnaround fertilization interventions, and intercropping or farm diversification for farmers’ secondary sources of income.

“May alternative revenue be available to coconut farmers if the price of copra is moderately increased. If the price of copra declines, the coconut farmer may still be able to earn a living through one of the programs we have in place. For this, we can rear animals under the right regimen,” he continued.

The Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Fund, according to the PCA, also assisted coconut farmers.

This includes a thorough program for production, intercropping, training, catastrophe funding or insurance, marketing support, and low-interest lending options.

Rosales added that in order to enhance the execution of PCA’s development and modernization plans, local farmers are encouraged to establish groups or cooperatives.

He also disclosed the start of a new scheme for the benefit of coconut growers.

“Let’s look forward to this — isa pang programa na magtataguyod ng scholarship, college scholarship para sa anak ng ating magniniyog at mga manggagawa (another program that will grant a scholarship or college scholarship for the children of our coconut farmers or workers),” Rosales added.

He spoke in a mix of mixed English and Filipino, adding, “The Philippine Coconut Authority is working with 14 other agencies to be able to put all of these services together to help our coconut farmers and our farmworkers and for the modernization of the coconut business.

Pest problem under control

The PCA reassured investors and coconut growers that all types of pest infestation in the Philippines are still under control.

In response to the reported infestation of coconut scale insects, Rosales said the PCA sent a team of experts to Anahawan, Southern Leyte, to investigate the situation and secure intervention.

“Po ang ating pest infestation across the nation is under control. Our pest infestation over the entire nation is under control, as evidenced by the fact that there has been no recent comeback of the coconut scale bug infestation in the country. By God’s grace, there hasn’t been any mention of another major coconut scale insect infestation like there used to be,” he remarked.

Via a “pay for work” program, impacted farmers were also given assistance in clearing trees and given the assurance that better coconut varieties would be provided for planting.

As of now, 79 provinces in the nation grow coconut, contributing to a $2 billion annual production of the fruit.

With around 3.6 million hectares of coconut farms, about 3 million other coconut farmers depend on the industry.

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