TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is eyeing to plant 44,200 high-quality seed nuts in the next few months under its hybridization program, which is included in the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP).
PCA Eastern Visayas Regional Manager Joel Pilapil said in a phone interview on Tuesday that nurseries have been established in eight sites of the region to make seedlings available in all six provinces.
“These nurseries are specifically designed to ensure the distribution of high-quality coconut seedlings to coconut farmer beneficiaries under the CFIDP. This is to enhance the productivity of coconuts by providing farmers with access to superior-quality seedlings,” Pilapil said.
The sites of the bigger nurseries are in Bobon, Northern Samar; Salcedo, Eastern Samar; Liloan and Bontoc towns in Southern Leyte; Sta. Fe, Leyte; and Calbayog City in Samar. Each site can house about 7,000 seed nuts.
Other locations are in Kananga, Leyte and Naval, Biliran, with about 3,000 seed nuts each.
The PCA is upbeat to plant 44,200 hybrid seedlings in the region within the first half of 2024.
“The program specifically focuses on coconut hybridization, which involves the development and promotion of hybrid coconut varieties. This program aims to enhance the productivity and resilience of coconut trees, leading to improved yields and quality of coconut products,” Pilapil added.
He said that by 2040, the contribution of the hybrids to the total yield of nuts in the country will potentially increase to 28 percent. This amounts to 8.45 billion of the hybrid’s nut yield out of the expected total nut production of 30 billion.
Through the program, there will be research projects and activities to identify, select and breed coconut varieties with desirable traits. This includes the morphological identification and selection of parental palms as well as the development of improved dwarf and tall coconut cultivars.
From April to June 2023, Eastern Visayas is the sixth largest coconut producing region in the country with an output of 260,114 metric tons of coconut, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
(SARWELL Q. MENIANO/PNA)