DA launches tree farming program
The Department of Agriculture will integrate tree farming into its High Value Crops Program under which project the planting of trees will be considered an agricultural activity.
In a Facebook post, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol described the move as “aimed at reshaping the agricultural landscape of the country and ensuring that landslides and soil erosion would be prevented.”
The program will be implemented alongside other High Value Crops such as coffee, cacao and abaca which will be introduced in mountainous, sloping and undulating agricultural areas.
Farmers who will intercrop trees with other high value crops will be given access to a P15,000 production loan per hectare and will be engaged in a marketing agreement with a paper and pulp company which will buy their trees after harvest which may take place 5 to 8 years from the planting date.
Considering that an hectare can hold 500 trees inter-cropped with other high value crops, a farmer could earn at least P1 million per hectare after 5 years and as much as P3 million after 8 to 10 years.