Gov’t wants to allot portions of coco levy fund to R&D
Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) administrator Romulo J. dela Rosa said that portions of the unreleased P75-billion coconut levy fund will be allotted to research and development (R&D) for the growth of the coconut industry.
Dela Rosa said at the 2nd Cocolink at the SMX Convention Center Davao that R&D would be an important component of the Coconut Industry Development Roadmap, which would be funded using the proposed Coconut Industry Trust Fund, a report in MindaNews showed.
Coconut Industry Trust Fund is a proposed legislation meant to oversee the utilization of the controversial coco levy fund. The Lower House already passed its own version of the law last September 25.
According to Dela Rosa, through R&D efforts, it will be easier to modernize the coconut industry as well as train and improve the capabilities of the farmers.
“We pride ourselves in saying that our coconuts are produced in an organic way. Unfortunately, our coconuts are organic by neglect. Being a naturally resilient crop, coconuts produce even with little cultivation and care. So, our farmers do not undertake measures to return the fertility of the soil, apply varietal improvement and insure water supply,” Dela Rosa said in the report.
Over the next three years, PCA is targeting to distribute as much as 20 million coconut seedlings to implement its massive replanting program.
The program was crafted to “revitalize” the country’s struggling coconut industry.