Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Philippines allocates P3B for coconut program

By MELODY M. AGUIBA
The Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/BSNS20090211147848.html

The government has allocated P3.09 billion for the 2009 coconut planting and fertilization under the National Coconut Productivity Program (NCPP) which originally targeted to double coconut production from a two million metric ton (MT)-level slump.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) targets the planting of more coconut seedlings this year to 10 million coconut seedlings, substantially higher than the 7.87 million coconut seedlings planted last year.

The National Coconut Planting Project was a resounding success. (For this year), we plan to cover 100,000 hectares to be planted or replanted with 10 million coconut seedlings, said PCA Administrator Oscar G. Garin.

The NCPP consists of a replanting program costing P350 million, a salt fertilization project costing P2.59 billion, and a plowable intercropping program worth P150 million.

Garin said a participatory program between PCA and farmers enabled the more massive planting of coconut seedlings.

Aside from the planting of seedlings, 6.36 million coconut trees have been fertilized with salt.

The program involved 25,183 coconut farmer participants which in 2008 enabled planting on a total of 52,475 hectares. That area will be nearly doubled in 2009.

The incentives part also contributed to the increased planting program as total incentive package was P236.139 million.

The project proved innovative and participatory as it mobilized the farmers, cooperatives, local government units and other stakeholders to plant some 8.4 million coconut seedlings throughout the country, said PCA.

PCA is also pursuing a brontispa control program. Out of the total 1.416 million infected trees nationwide, already 1.229 million trees have been treated against brontispa infestation.

Garin said laboratory studies showed that pesticides proved to control the infestation. Pesticides used were Actara 25 or thiametoxam, Alika 247ZC or thiametoxam plus Lambda-cyhalothrin, Dantop 16 WSC or clothianidin, and Solomon 300 OD or imidachloprid plus B cyfluthrin.

An important observation was there was no detectable residue found in the coconut meat after spraying of the four insecticides even if these insecticides are injected into coconut trunks.

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