Photo from PCA Palawan

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Palawan is targeting to distribute 100,000 coconut seeds to farmers by December, in its bid to replace those damaged by Typhoon Odette.

Agriculturist I Rommel Fababaer said that the agency is outsourcing coconut seed nuts from local farms in Palawan and other provinces with good tall and dwarf coconut varieties. PCA Palawan is focused on distributing coconut seed nuts to farmers in Roxas, Dumaran, Araceli and barangays of northern Puerto Princesa.

The local coconut industry of Palawan recorded 490,000 damaged trees after the damage caused by Odette in December 2021, according to PCA data.

PCA started the distribution to farmers in June with a total of 35,000 seed nuts given to affected farmers. Fababaer said that there is a continuous arrival of planting materials in the province.

Hopefully, ay ma-cover sana namin ‘yong 100,000 na target namin na seedlings—medyo mahirap’yong transportation ng varieties natin katulad ng galing sa Zamboanga at Davao, kaya karamihan ng ginagawa namin ay nakikipag-coordinate kami sa may mga farm sa province,” he said.

PCA also has a community partnership through the multipurpose cooperative of Palawan State University (PSU) to support 25,000 dwarf seedlings. The distribution will go on until 2023, as long as partners are giving farmers planting materials and farmers are asking for them.

After acquiring the seed nuts, the planting materials will be transferred to nurseries to be stored for three months before distribution. The farmers who will benefit from the rehabilitation program need to undergo orientation and training to ensure their ability to attain at least an 85 percent survival rate.

“Marami kaming mga nakalinya na bidding, depende na kung saan sila magso-source na mga supplier. Iyon din ang nagiging problema ng supplier, malayo talaga ang Palawan kung manggagaling sa labas,” he said.

PCA is selecting its source of planting materials to ensure the quality of the variety to be planted in the affected areas of Typhoon Odette. The tall coconut variety will take about two to three years before bearing fruit, while the dwarf type needs almost two years.

The agency also assists in diversified farming methods to provide additional income for farmers while waiting for the fruit of their coconut trees. The PCA gives farmers native chickens to raise as livestock and distributes vegetables to them so they can get the most out of their land.

Farmers whose trees have been partially damaged will get help with fertilizer and more money per tree.