TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will map out plans to further develop pili nuts in Northern Samar province, citing the product’s high demand in the global market.
Key officials of DA and Department of Trade and Industry(DTI) and other stakeholders will sit down to draft for the first time a pili nuts roadmap in the region, said Francisco Dayap, chief of DA regional field operations division.
“Northern Samar is the priority since the production have been established in that province considering their proximity to Bicol Region where many areas are known for pili planting. In fact, many pili nuts processors in Bicol get their raw materials in Northern Samar,” Dayap said.
Pili nuts is widely cultivated in the towns of Lavezares, Allen, San Isidro, and Bobon in Northern Samar. These towns are close to the seaport that links Northern Samar to Sorsogon.
The province has an estimated 15,000 pili trees planted in 90 to 100 hectares owned by local farmers.
“In the roadmap, we will outline how to support and reinforce the pili nuts production in the area, expand plantation, and improve productivity. One of the support we have been giving to farmers is the distribution of grafted planting materials that yield in three years,” Dayap added.
Each tree yields 60 to 100 kilograms each year. Harvesting is year round but peak harvest is June and July.
The Philippines has the monopoly for pili nuts on the foreign market. The product is exported to countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The pili nut is endemic in the country. It has a different uses from its tree that can be used for landscaping, the young shoots and the fruit pulp of pili are edible, its roots can prevents landslides, and many more.
Pili nuts also contain about 23 percent oil that may be used for lighting, cooking and in the manufacture of soaps, shampoos, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and industrial products. The shell makes an excellent cooking fuel and can be made into attractive ornaments.
The kernel is edible raw, roasted, fried or sugar-coated, and is also used in making cakes, puddings and ice cream.
As timber, the wood is characterized by fine striated grains making it very ideal for the manufacture of high quality furniture, wall panels, carved doors, and other wooden products. The rootstock could also be utilized for wood carvings and tool handles. (MELVA MAE C.MENIANO)