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Monday, February 26, 2024

PCA project to plant 8.5 million coconut seedlings in 2024

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The Philippine Coconut Authority’s Massive Coconut Planting and Replanting Project, coinciding with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s commitment to the objective of planting 100 million coconut trees by 2028, is set to plant at least 8.5 million coconut seedlings this 2024, after planting more than 2.1 million coconut seedlings in 2023.

According to Administrator Bernie F. Cruz, the PCA projects the number of seedlings to be planted in 2024 based on its available stocks and the number of seednuts currently sown in its nurseries, which the PCA has amassed in part through partnerships with local government units (LGUs) and coconut farmers’ cooperatives and without any augmentation to its regular budget.

“We made use of remaining funds from previous years to partner with supportive LGUs and cooperatives to establish nurseries and expand our sources of planting materials, in compliance with the President’s directives,” said Cruz. “We are also maximizing our resources and stepping up our efforts in our regular planting programs.”

In October last year, the President affirmed the Administration’s commitment to the Massive Coconut Planting and Replanting Project, which the PCA designed to address increasing senility and loss of bearing trees. The PCA had previously created a Task Force for Massive Coconut Planting and Replanting and Productivity Enhancement primarily tasked with undertaking partnerships with LGUs, coconut farmers’ organizations and cooperatives, and the private and business sectors in a “whole-of-nation” approach to reach the planting targets.

25,000 coconut seedlings sown in Maasin City, Southern Leyte

To date, more than one million seedlings are expected to be produced from provincial or communal nurseries established through partnerships with the municipalities of Sampaloc, Quezon, and Sulat, Eastern Samar; the provincial government of Camarines Sur; and the Kalipunan ng Maliliit na Magniniyog ng Pilipinas Agricultural Cooperative of Jaro, Leyte, and San Lorenzo Ruiz Farmers Agricultural Cooperative of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Camarines Sur.

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Cruz further expects the number of seedlings for planting in the coming years to rise significantly as more than two million “parental palms” shall be planted this year, which in turn shall be used to produce more high-quality planting materials under the PCA’s Coconut Hybridization Program.

The Massive Coconut Planting and Replanting Project is a unique initiative implemented n in the country since the 1970s. Cruz lauds the President’s vision in supporting a multi-year effort where the benefits will be fully realized after his term in office.

“The President expressly told us not to worry about political terms. While the planting goal is for 2028, he told us to abide by a plan that looks ahead in terms of fully rehabilitating the coconut industry and ensuring that every peso invested is well-spent. We appreciate and share the President’s commitment in this regard,” said Cruz.

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