DA to start ‘massive’ coconut tree planting once budget is available
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture will pursue a “massive” coconut tree planting once the Coconut Farmers Trust Fund is approved, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Tuesday.
He said the government will have to replace the over 100 million coconut trees in the country that are already very old and senile.
“We will have to pursue a massive tree planting program. [About] 100 million coconut trees are very old, senile, at papalitan natin yan [and we will replace them],” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
Dar assured that the agency has not yet touched the allocated coco levy fund, which amounts to about P100 billion.
He hopes both chambers of Congress will craft a law on how to allocate the coconut levy fund “that has been there for some time.”
The principal fund of the trust fund will not be used for projects but its interest earnings, Dar said.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his fifth State of the Nation Address, urged the government to create the Coconut Farmers Trust Fund, asking Congress to draw up a plan on how to utilize the money collected by the government to benefit farmers.
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