PCA, NIA to boost coconut hybridization in Mindoro

CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro (PIA) — The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), through Coconut Farmers Industry and Development Plan (CFIDP)–Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) and the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) joined forces to fortify coconut farming against climatic challenges in Oriental Mindoro.

The PCA and NIA, through the Irrigation Management Office (IMO), headed by acting division manager Maria Victoria O. Malenab, discussed the pressing need to address the challenges posed by El Niño and its impact on coconut cultivation.

PCA division chief Celso Maliwanag, along with senior agriculturist Evangeline Barcibal, requested for assistance from the NIA in enhancing farm irrigation and water sourcing. This partnership aims to bolster the resilience of coconut trees planted across farm hybridization sites against the adverse effects of El Niño.

Photo courtesy of NIA MIMAROPA

The site comprises ten hectares of coconut plantation in Alcate, Victoria, two hectares in Loyal, Victoria, 2.25 hectares in Salcedo, Bansud, and 1.25 hectares in Sagana, Bongabong.

Currently, the yield is not very high despite having a hybridization program due to a water shortage, especially during the dry season. Hence, the PCA requested an irrigation system to maximize the benefits of hybrid coconut in the said plantations.

The proposed development scheme for the irrigation systems in the areas was discussed, including the establishment of a groundwater pump, solar-powered pump, and high-density polyethylene pipe.

The collaboration between PCA and NIA signifies a proactive approach to mitigate the vulnerabilities faced by coconut farmers.

In a press release, the two agencies vow to develop sustainable solutions that foster productivity and resilience within the coconut industry by leveraging expertise and resources.

NIA said that through concerted efforts and strategic partnerships, they remain steadfast in their commitment to empower coconut farmers, ensuring a robust agricultural sector capable of weathering diverse challenges while realizing its full potential for growth and prosperity. (GATS/PIA MIMAROPA)

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