Quantcast
Latest Stories

Inquirer Visayas

Southern Leyte revitalizes its coco industry

By

SOUTHERN Leyte businessmen want to raise coconut production to benefit some 64,000 families. DELFIN T. MALLARI JR./INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

MACROHON, Southern Leyte—Lands will be fertilized and coconut trees replanted in the next six years to revitalize the coconut industry in Southern Leyte.

The aim is to raise coconut production to a volume valued at P1.4 billion by 2018, to benefit some 64,000 families.

At least P200 million worth of seedlings and fertilization measures over three years are needed once the Coconut Rehabilitation Road Map is finalized, according to Robert Castañares, president of the Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SLCCI).

Funding will come from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), which has noted that the country’s coconut output is only 30 percent of its potential capacity.

Eastern Visayas, where Southern Leyte belongs, is the Philippines’ No. 2 coconut-producing region. It is composed of Southern Leyte, Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces.

Southern Leyte was earlier identified as a pilot area in the region for the rehabilitation program.

“They (PCA officials) actually have an existing program but were not able to successfully implement it in Region 8 due to the lack of a comprehensive implementation plan and support from the stakeholders,” Castañares said.

2-track plan

Southern Leyte could move forward and improve its economy on two tracks—tourism and agriculture, he said.

The tourism thrust has taken off following last year’s launch of a tourism promotion package that tagged Southern Leyte as the “playground” of Eastern Visayas. One of the tourism attractions being promoted is the Agas-Agas zipline in Sogod town, the country’s longest zipline at 1.5 kilometers long and about 115 meters high.

“We are now working on agriculture by starting with coconut, which the province is known to grow in abundance,” Castañares.

The road map is a joint effort of the SLCCI, PCA, the provincial government and the Diocese of Maasin. The rehabilitation strategy also involves intercropping coconut trees with coffee and banana to serve as the farmers’ “in-between income” before the coconut harvest.

Coconut is the second most dominant crop in Eastern Visayas based on total output of agricultural products, according to the Eastern Visayas regional development plan of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda). Palay leads at 50 percent of total output followed by coconut at 33 percent and banana, 7.3 percent.

In a letter to Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan in August, the SLCCI recommended an industry-clustering strategy, which is built around dominant agricultural products, such as coconut.

Castañares also wrote Neda in March to seek a clear regional development plan that would guide the business sector on how to move forward in terms of investments, business operation and expansion.

Castañares said Eastern Visayas could not rely on just the manufacturing sector, which is heavily dependent on Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (Pasar) and Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. (Philphos). Both plants are found in Isabel town in Leyte.

“Our proposal is to use coconut as a platform to rejuvenate the manufacturing sector by way of producing coconut-related products like coco sugar, coco nectar, coco coir, activated carbon through micro, small and medium enterprises,” Castañares said.

The region’s gross domestic product dropped from 5.2 percent in 2004 to 1.8 percent in 2009. Poverty incidence went up from 37.6 percent in 2003 to 41.4 percent in 2009.

Church role

To ensure the success of the coconut rehabilitation program, Castañares urged the Church to help disseminate information and encourage people’s participation.

“The Church will assist in the information campaign, values formation, monitoring of the distribution of fertilizers and seedlings, and project evaluation through their basic ecclesiastical communities (BECs) and parish priests,” he said. The BECs are grassroots organizations.

Farmers must realize the values of hard work, taking responsibility and self-reliance to bring them out of poverty, he said.

Bishop Precioso Cantillas of the Diocese of Maasin has declared full support for the chamber’s initiative. The priests have already been briefed about Southern Leyte’s economic development framework.

A road show will follow in each municipality, Castañares said.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Agriculture , Coconut , Southern Leyte




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Korea ferry captain defends actions, bodies seen in ship
  • Traffic starts to build up at toll plazas on Black Saturday
  • Flash floods hit 9 Tagum villages
  • No tsunami to hit PH after 6.9 quake jolts Solomon Islands–Phivolcs
  • Search resumes for bodies in Everest avalanche
  • Sports

  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • We treasure our Sierra Madre
  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement