News article from Mb.com.ph

News Summary:
The Department of Agriculture has allotted P502.310 million for the planting and replanting program and P336.187 million for the fertilization program of the Philippine Coconut Authority. It is with these funds that PCA aims to plant and replant coconut trees in a total of 138,125 hectares through the Accelerated Coconut Planting and Replanting Project. Furthermore, there are four projects under the said program.  First is the Participatory Coconut Planting Project (PCPP), second, the Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project (CSDP), third, is the Indigenous People Outreach Program (IPOP), and lastly, the Hatid Punla (HP).


News Commentary:
Given that most news articles related to the coconut industry is about coconut exports, the group would have to say that this news articleis a good sign for it shows that the social problems in the coconut industry are now given more attention. This news article corrects assumptions made by people, which was what the group assumed prior to this article, that Non-government Organizations (NGOs) were the only ones taking initiative to create projects that help in the betterment of coconut farmers’ welfare. This article shows that the government too, allots funds for such programs and this support will help the farmers remain motivated to stay in the coconut industryand give them the capability of improving their aging coconut farms, given that at present, their average income is only about P10,000/ha/year.

However, setting aside the initial reaction that the article is a good indicator for the social aspect of the industry, the group has determined that the article still needs to be more precise in its statements as it raises questions. Some of these questions are concerned with the Participatory Coconut Planting Project wherein a monetary incentive averaging P31.40 per tree (that is established and at least 3 years old), equivalent to P3,140 per hectare will be given to farmers who raise and plant their own coconut trees.There are a lot of confusions that arise simply from this statement and lead the group to ask: Will PCA giveincentives to farmers with trees that are 3 years old now or will they only start monitoring those who raise their own seedlings and in effect, start giving the incentive only 3 years from now? The article lacks information that will give its readers a better understanding of how much help the program can give to farmers.

Furthermore, these investments by the government on the coconut industry—on various programs and projects—help address the increasing demand for coconut products. Planting and replanting programs will improve the industry in the long run byensuring that the problem of low coconut productivity (43 nuts/tree/year—which is only 53% of potential yield of 80 nuts) is resolved.


Authors:
Alvarado, Regine
Balmes, Jenalyn
Cerrer, Ysabel
Villanueva, Virgil




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