Cargill seeks to rehabilitate Bohol coconut farms
MANILA -US-based animal nutrition and health supplier Cargill has partnered with nonprofit CARE Philippines to rehabilitate 700 hectares of coconut farms in Bohol affected by Supertyphoon Odette.
Called the Recovery Intervention for Severely Affected Coconut Farming Communities of Bohol by Super Typhoon Odette (Rise Coco), the initiative seeks to replace damaged coconut trees in farms managed by 1,000 farming households in the towns of San Isidro, Calape, Catigbian and Loon.
About 100,000 coconut seedlings will be planted this year.
“It is being done through farmer-led propagation of seed nuts in community-based seedbeds and nurseries, farmer training on sustainable agriculture, provision of alternative livelihoods while waiting for the coconut trees to bear fruit, and establishment of farmer cooperatives for improved access to markets and corporate buyers,” Cargill said.
The program kicked off in Barangay Cabanugan in San Isidro, one of the many municipalities that suffered a devastating economic loss with 130,000 felled coconut trees. Most of these trees had produced copra for over 50 years.
Supertyphoon Odette wreaked havoc in December 2021, affecting mostly the agriculture sector, resulting in P13.3 billion in losses. Many areas have yet to recover to this day.
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) National Administrator Bernie Cruz told coconut farmers to diversify their income by producing copra and other by-products such as charcoal, coco peat and coco coir from the husk, among others.
Cruz also recommended that farmers practice multicropping or intercropping. INQ