The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has endorsed the Western Philippines University’ (WPU) P2.7 million project proposal to conduct a commodity research on Palawan cashew.
A statement released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in MIMAROPA said the purpose of the research, as indicated in the university’s draft proposal, is to produce a “compendium of cashew researches for the last 30 years on the varietal characterization, propagation, pest and disease control, fertilization, mechanization, and product development of cashew”.
It also aims to conduct technology assessment to determine the appropriateness of the adopted cashew technologies for the last 30 years with respect to its relevance, compatibility, ease of adoption, and future replicability.
Under the study, the researchers will map out cashew production in every municipality of Palawan and the possible areas that are still suitable for expansion through geo-mapping activities.
The study will focus mostly in northern towns namely Agutaya, Araceli, Busuanga, Coron, Culion, Cuyo, Dumaran, El Nido, Linapacan, Magsaysay, Roxas, San Vicente, and Taytay; including the municipality of Aborlan and Puerto Princesa.
“There will also be focus group discussions and surveys to design and formulate adoption pathways for proper technologies identified for cashew to which training compendiums as well as information, education, and communication materials are expected to be produced.”
The results of the research will be used to formulate policies that will support the sustainable competitive development of cashew industry of the province.
DA said that while cashew is a top commodity at the local market, there is still a huge opportunity for the commodity to be marketed abroad.
The province of Palawan is known for abundant cashew fruit but is more popular as pasalubong item for tourists and locals.
“The quality of the nuts highly depends on the quality of the raw fruits, which is then also dependent on the genetic quality of the trees and the practices of its growers,” the department said.
“This only adds to the list of reasons why cashew should be given priority for potential high value addition to be a source of supplemental income to farmers,” DA stated.
The research will be funded by the PRDP’s I-PLAN component under its subcomponent 1.2, which also provides planning, programming, budgeting, and coordination of activities in the implementation of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (AFMP) by DA.
The Subcomponent 1.2 benefits not only local government units (LGUs), other national government agencies (NGAs), but also state universities and colleges (SUCs).
Meanwhile, aside from the project of PRDP in Palawan, the DA’s national project will also hold its first Occidental Mindoro Onion Investment Forum on November 12, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via videoconference through Cisco Webex.
The forum aims to present existing investments in the onion industry and other opportunities for possible expansion; this will also be a welcome activity to “initiate investment strategies that could contribute in the national government’s goal to increase income of various stakeholders, especially Filipino farmers.”
This is in consonance with the Onion Commodity Roadmap 2017-2022 vision to achieve a more affordable supply of a locally-produced commodity for both local and international consumption that is geared towards a more profitable industry.
One of the objectives of the roadmap is to increase the production volume of quality supply of onion to be able to maintain both national and export market requirement. This is also anchored on the expansion of agricultural areas planted with onion crop.
The department said that during the first quarter of 2020, the MIMAROPA region ranked fourth in the production of Bermuda (Red Creole and Yellow Granex) onion in the country, with 2.15 thousand metric tons share in the 135.94 thousand metric tons of national volume of production. Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, and Ilocos Region were the top three producers.
Interested participants may visit https://sites.google.com/view/daprdpluzonb-occionion/home for more details and to register themselves.