Tree farming program launched in tribal communities
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said an anti-poverty and livelihood program for the Tribal Communities, which revolves around the planting of trees in Ancestral Lands, was recently launched in the Davao Region and a town in North Cotabato.
He said that leaders of the different tribes in the Davao Provinces and North Cotabato – Mandaya, Tagabawa, Ubo-Manobo, Matigsalog, Bagobo, Aromanen-Manobo – gathered in Bago Oshiro, Toril, Davao City to interact with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and learned more about the program that DA calls 4Ks or Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo.
The 4K Program, which Piñol designed personally following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte for DA to help in the development of the Tribal Communities, revolves around activities which the Indigenous People are very familiar with, including the planting of trees.
With the DA as the lead agency, each family in the Ancestral Domain will be asked to identify a five hectare area for his Tree Farm.
Through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the DA, will implement a No-Interest, No-Collateral, Pay-Upon-Harvest loan program amounting to P300,000 for 5 hectares of Tree Farm with a 500-tree population per hectare.
The loan will be released on a monthly basis at P5,000 per month based on the assumption that the 4K Family will ensure that all 500 trees are growing and they will be given a monthly “maintenance” incentive of P2 per tree.
In five years, the trees, when harvested are estimated to fetch a minimum of P2,000 each or an estimated gross income of P1 million per hectare or P5 million for the five hectares.
After the advanced “maintenance incentive loan” totalling P300,000 is deducted and paid back to ACPC, the 4K Program Participating Family is expected to earn at least P4 million.