By: Lovely S. Artiaga and Kristine A. Cusi, CCDO, Laguna & Rizal
The Philippine Coconut Authority Laguna-Rizal Province joined the Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) Forum cum Tree Planting held last September 11, 2019 in Brgy. Sta. Lucia, Nagcarlan, Laguna.
The forum, organized by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – Laguna headed by Elizabeth Z. Villapando (Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer), aimed to provide valuable and timely information on Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and other related issues.
Prior to the forum was a tree planting activity wherein a total of 100 coconut seedlings provided by PCA were planted in a parcel of land in Brgy. Silangan Kabubuhayan owned by a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) recipient, Fely Panaglima.
PCA Senior Agriculturist Alvin C. Ardeza delivered a message which he started with the question, “Why is the farmgate price of wholenut and copra very low?”. He proceeded and explained that contrary to most people’s assumption, domestic coconut price is beyond the control of PCA or any other government agency.
He stated that it is in fact the world market that dictates the prices of coconut since coconut oil is just one of the many vegetable oils produced in the world, making its prices volatile and very much dependent on market situation.
“Eighty percent of the total production of coconut is being exported and only 20% is being sold and consumed domestically”, he added. To encourage farmers not to depend on copra, he briefly discussed about the major PCA projects especially the KAANIB Enterprise Development Project which aims to increase farmers’ income through coconut farm diversification and value-addition.
The event was participated by various partner institutions of DAR-Laguna such as PCA Laguna-Rizal, Landbank of the Philippines Laguna Lending Center, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Food Authority (NFA), ARB Organizations, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), LGU-Nagcarlan, Sangguniang Barangay of Silangan Kabubuhayan, and ARB Associations in Laguna.
The Philippine Coconut Authority in collaboration with Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) Tayabas Campus recently opened a Coconut Demo Farm in Barangay Ibabang Palale, Tayabas City.
PCA Employees, some 300 freshmen students of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, University faculty, and the Parent-Teachers Association of SLSU altogether planted an initial batch of 143 Malayan Yellow Dwarf coconut seedlings in the 1-hectare open land using a triangular planting system.
The coconut seed farm targets to plant seedings throughout 5 hectares with different coconut improved varieties including the Tacunan Dwarf, Catigan Dwarf, and Equatorial Green Dwarf.
PCA-Quezon I Provincial Coconut Development Manager Joselito R. Alcantara explained during the August 1 launching of the Coco Seed Demo Farm that these coconut improved varieties are high yielding, early bearing, and are able to produce an average of 120 coconut fruits per tree in a year. The figure is 35% higher than the performance of existing coconut trees planted in Quezon.
SLSU-Tayabas City Campus Director Dr. Moses T. Macalinao pledged that each student, together with the Parents- Teachers Association, would adopt a tree until the end of their studies at the university – a timeline that coincides with the fruit-bearing stage of the trees they planted.
This establishment of Coco Demo Farm at SLSU Tayabas aims to develop quality seednut source in CALABARZON while highlighting the performance of PCA- developed varieties in research centers.