PCA, coconut farmers, stakeholders to revive coconut industry in Basilan

ISABELA CITY, Basilan Nov 16 (PIA) – The Philippine Coconut Authority together with the coconut farmers have pushed for the revival of the coconut industry in the province after cocolisap wreaks havoc in 2014 and infested majority of coconut trees in Basilan.
In a recently concluded stakeholders’ forum, PCA BARMM-Basilan, Diosdado A. Espinosa Jr, Acting Division Chief and Ms. Onie Hayawan, Senior Agriculturist presented the current status of Coconut Industry in Basilan.
According to their report there were 8,902,236 coconut trees in Basilan and 6,218,397 of them or 69.85% were infested by cocolisap. With this, PCA has gone through different treatment interventions in order to lessen the infestation. This include pruning of coconut trees in 2014 -2017 with the total of 3,931,508  (63.22%), truck injection on 2015 – 2016 to 3,385,591 (54.44%) coconut trees and cutting of extremely infested coconut trees on 2014-2019 with the total of 393,156 (6.32%). There were also 1,424,444 coconut trees released with Bio-con Agents.

They also explained that pruning, truck injection and release of bio-con agents, fertilization and cutting of severely infested coconut trees that are beyond recovery are part of the Science-Based Protocol Treatment (Interventions done to CSI infested coconut trees).
Furthermore, PCA also reported that in 2017, Governance Commission for Government (GCG) set a target of 65% recovery of treated CSI infested palms in Basilan. A passing score of 82% recovery was recorded through the conduct of the Rapid Ground Assessment (RGA) strategies supervised by the Research and Development Branch (RDB) of PCA in collaboration with the PCA Region XIV.
In addition, PCA here stated that the Governance Commission for Government (GCG) in 2019 approved target to extend recovery assessment to all treated pest-infested coconut palms in the entire country and set a 65% infestation recovery.  Research and Development Branch (RDB) then devised a Regional Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Monitoring Forms and a Database Management System for the utilization of Regional Offices.  Training was also conducted to Regional IPM focal persons and was also attended by farmer-representatives.  In 2019, PCA said that it achieved a passing score of 88% infestation recovery based on the results of all data gathered through the conduct of RGA.

During the forum, stakeholders were encouraged to participate in government’s efforts to revive the coconut industry since it is being recognized by the government as a major, but undeveloped industry in Basilan Province. Stakeholders also prepared their action plan or the 5-year roadmap for the development of coconut industry.
Likewise, majority of the stakeholders present during the forum signed their opposition against allowing the export of matured coconut as it would result to the depletion of raw materials, processed and value-added coco products, loss of jobs and closing of small to medium businesses. To date, the copra industry is down and most, if not all, copra warehouses have closed. (RVC/NDR/PIA9-Basilan)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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