Inter-cropping for typhooon hit areas alternative for coco farmers- PCA

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The Philippine Coconut Authority is recommending the inter-cropping strategy to coconut farmers after the devastation brought by killer typhoon “Yolanda” in Samar and Leyte provinces.

PCA Albay official Ed Bailon said inter-cropping should be introduced as an alternative income of the affected coco farmers while waiting for the total recovery of the coconut industry after it was ravaged by “Yolanda”.

The government will help the coconut farmers, however, they will be required to sow different kinds of seed in-between the rows of coconut trees.

“Planting of banana, root crops, peanut, corn and others is highly recommended and in this case, the coco farmers will be given a chance to regain their income losses,” Bailon told the Philippines News Agency (PNA)Sunday in a phone interview.

Due to the extent of damages in the coconut plantation in central Philippines, selective cutting of coconut trees is also recommended to prevent the spread of pests and diseases, he said.

“Unrecoverable coconut trees or totally damaged by typhoon is allowed to be cut,” Bailon said.

The next step is to initiate replanting of seed nuts and seedlings to replace those unrecoverable coconut trees, but coco farmers will wait for six to seven years, he said, adding ”This is why we are recommending inter-cropping.”

However, those recoverable coconut trees would take at least three years to bear fruits.

The PCA official cited that in the province of Albay, the same strategy was introduced right after the onslaught of super typhoon “Reming” that hit this province on November 31, 2006.

Bailon further said communities must adopt a “bayanhan” system to protect the newly planted coconut trees from astray animals.

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