To increase their income
PALO, Leyte- Senator Cynthia Villar urged coconut farmers to go into inter-cropping saying they could earn more in doing so.
Villar, who was in this town Thursday (Oct.13) to grace the regional cooperative center on climate change and mitigation, said that big farmers in the country are into inter-cropping reason why they earn big.
“If we just remain on planting coconut trees, that’s only (equivalent) to P50 a day; it should only be a sideline. We have to intercrop high value crops like corn, cacao, coffee or vegetables,” the senator said.
“We should have varied sources of income so that if one is not available, there are still other sources where we can earn,” she said.
Villar noted that considering of the impacts of supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ to coconut farmers in the region, in particular, coconut farmers should really go into inter-cropping.
Over a million of coconut farmers in the region suffered economic losses when the region was pummeled by Yolanda in 2013.
The regional office of the Philippine Coconut Authority had earlier reported that 33 million coconut trees with a value of P16 billion were lost due to Yolanda.
The PCA has also urged the coconut farmers to go into inter-cropping.
Sen. Villar said that poverty could also be significantly reduced if coconut farmers will also practice inter-cropping.
“The best way to reduce poverty is to empower our farmers and even fishermen because they are the poorest in the country. So, if we are able to increase their income, then we are able to reduce poverty,” the senator said.
Incidentally, Eastern Visayas is now the second poorest region in the country after Yolanda’s onslaught as production of the agriculture sector suffered massive decline.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)