Government targets to plant 1.4M coco trees in Davao region this year

AS PART of the replanting initiatives of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the leaders of Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in Paquibato, a total of 1.4 million coconut trees are to be planted in Davao Region for 2018.

Roque Quimpan, PCA member of the Board, said in April last year that the Philippines needs to replant a total of 7 million coconut trees within five years to compensate for the almost 33 million coconut trees lost during the typhoons and cocolisap infestation a few years back.

For Davao City, there will be about 100,000 initial coconut seedlings that are going to be delivered for development in the nursery before planting in Paquibato. This will benefit about 1,400 Ata Manobos, headed by Datu Arthur Ali, in the community.

This ancestral domain in Paquibato is allotting about 1,250 hectares of land for the 100,000 seedlings. However, an entire 6,000 hectares was allocated by the community to be planted with coconut as part of the 1.4 million coconut trees target for Davao Region.

Quimpan said this program in Paquibato is under the Participatory Coconut Planting Program (PCPP) wherein the IP beneficiaries will be part of growing of the seedlings during its gestation stages in the nursery. Through the PCPP, the planters will be much more attached to the plants as they would see it grow and hopefully, Quimpan said, the trees would be given more care.

Under the PCPP, the farmers will be paid P18.00 once the seedlings turned over to them had grown a foot tall. If it had fully grown to a height appropriate for planting in the field, they are going to be paid again with P22.00 per seedling.

“The reason why it should be under PCPP is that there would be a feel of ownership and partnership because they will be the ones to grow the seedlings. They will take responsibility of planting,” Quimpan said.

Now, there are already four identified nurseries in Paquibato where the coconut seedlings are to be delivered and taken care of before replanting.

The seedlings are targeted to be delivered to Paquibato within the week.
“It’s not only the coconut industry that we’re cultivating but a good tribal community,” he added.

Aside from Paquibato, about 50,000 coconut seedlings are also allocated for Marilog wherein a partnership with the Obu Manuvu tribe will make the project possible. However, the turnover of the seedlings will be under the Coconut Seedling Dispersal Program (CSDP), and not of the PCPP. This means that the seedlings to be delivered to Marilog are already ready for planting and are no longer needed to be taken care of in a nursery.

Quimpan said under the CSDP, the planters will be paid P20.00 for every seedling that was successfully planted and grown. Currently, PCA has yet to start with the verification process where in the ancestral domains in Marilog is the most suitable area for coconut planting.

“We intend to plant around 1 million coconut trees in the areas of the IPS in Davao Region especially those belonging to the Ata Manobo tribe in Paquibato. This is the area where the palm tree planting projects were not pushed through because of resistance. But the residents there loved coconuts as we introduced it to them,” Quimpan said during an earlier interview.

He added there is no better area for development of coconut except areas granted to the IPs by the government through the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title as other areas had already been converted to banana, cacao, and other fruit-bearing tree plantations.

Quimpan also said the community is very much free to also do intercropping along their coconut tree plantations. (JPA)