The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) office in the province plans to start the distribution of coconut seed nuts cultivated from three nursery sites in May and June to aid in the recovery of local farmers whose crops were destroyed by Typhoon Odette.
Engr. Arlo Solano, senior agriculturist for PCA Palawan, said on Wednesday that in addition to the initial 15,000 seed nuts planted at three nursery sites, an additional 10,000 arrived to supplement the number of planting materials. The nurseries are located in the Puerto Princesa City towns of Roxas, Dumaran, and Barangay Luzviminda.
However, flooding caused by a recent low-pressure area in the city washed away approximately 2,000 seed nuts. The 2,000 seed nuts determined to be of good variety are part of the overall 4,000 kept in the Luzviminda nursery site and are supplied to city farmers.
“Wala pa tayong distribution kasi nasa nursery pa siya ngayon, tentative niyan ay May-June. Kailangan maganda, kumbaga at least two feet tall ang taas ng tubo, para at least good size bago ang distribution sa ating beneficiaries. Iyong sa Luzviminda medyo naapektuhan ng pagbaha, na-wipe out ‘yong iba ng baha halos 50 percent, kasi hindi pa established ang mga ugat sa seedbed,” Solano said.
“Actually, maliit lang ang epekto (2,000 seed nuts) pero sayang din. Assuming na nasa 70 percent at least mga 1,400, kung idi-divide natin sa 100 seedlings per hectare, nasa 14 hectares din ang mawawalan. Sayang din, malapad-lapad din ang 14 hectares na matatamnan,” he added.
PCA earlier noted that seed nuts are temporarily planted in nursery locations and would be supplied to farmers once the rainy season begins and the weather is adequate for planting coconuts.
Solano acknowledged that due to a limited budget, PCA Palawan will be unable to provide planting supplies for all 490,000 damaged trees this year. However, he stated that the agency is striving to produce 10,400 seed nuts to supplement the existing PCA inventory in nursery sites.
As part of the recovery operations, the PCA Palawan has prioritized allocating planting resources to the badly devastated municipalities of Roxas, Dumaran, and the city of Puerto Princesa. Aside from aid for Odette-affected areas, the agency would also devote 180 hectares in the communities of Araceli and San Vicente as part of its ongoing project accelerated coconut planting and replanting.
“Pinagsisikapan din namin na matugunan ‘yong pangangailangan lalo na sa planting materials. Pero, honestly, sa taon na ito, hindi talaga namin kakayanin ‘yan. Pero yearly lalaanan ng opisina ang coconut planting and replanting project,” he said.