Roxas City -- Some P786 million has been ordered by President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo to be set aside for the Coconut Industry Investment
Fund Safety-Net Program (CSNP).
In addition, another P86 million is also allotted for the upgraded
insurance program that would benefit some 1.02-million coconut farmers
nationwide, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said.
The amount being earmarked by President Arroyo is in line with her
commitment to raise farm productivity, particularly, for the coconut
subsector during her State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA).
Yap revealed that the DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA)
are carrying out a P107.94 million program to intercrop corn in
coconut plantations across the country.
He explained that said intercropping project is a component of the
President's Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) that aims to
revitalize new or idle coconut farms and to increase the income of
coconut farmers, on top of producing and making available more food
for low-income families.
PCA Administrator Oscar Garin disclosed that last year, over 100,000
farmers benefited from a P100-million corn intercropping program of
the DA in Bicol and other parts of Luzon to help the coconut sector
recover from the devastation it suffered from the spate of super
typhoons that hit the country in the second semester of 2006.
This year, the PCA is carrying out three short- to long-term
initiatives that will involve the massive fertilization, intercropping
and planting of coconut to sustain the growth of this top Philippine
export, Garin said.
The coconut sector is projected to recover in 2008 from a negative
growth of 5.12% last year, with its expansion expected at 5.57%, as
against the original forecast of only 1.42%.
For the first quarter of the year, Garin said the coconut sector grew
5.1%, with its gross earnings increasing 24% to P16.13 billion from
P13 billion in 2007.
Meanwhile, the more than 32,000 small coconut farmers in Capiz are
expecting an improved farm production and income with the new
investment of President Arroyo on the coconut subsector, especially
after typhoon Frank devastated more than P20-million worth of coconut
Earlier, Capiz PCA Provincial Manager Jeffrey delos Reyes reported
that a total of 1,173,136 coconut trees in the province here were
destroyed by typhoon Frank affecting about 24,108 coconut farmers. (PIA)
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