A ceremonial planting of hybrid coconuts produced from a project of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) was recently held to support the coconut industry through modernization together with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena together with National Scientist Dr. Emil Q. Javier, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Deputy Administrator for R&D Ms. Erlene C. Manohar, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora and other officials and staff took part in the event. DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora was also present during the tree-planting in support of the event.
It was held as part of the field visit of an on-farm coconut hybridization setup of the project titled “Performance Evaluation of the 2-Pronged Coconut Hybridization Scheme in CALABARZON” under the leadership of Ms. Erlene C. Manohar from PCA.
This project is one of the front-runners in producing quality planting materials and improving coconut productivity from 45 nuts to 150 nuts/tree/year which is an objective under the DOST-PCAARRD Industry Strategic Program (ISP) for Coconut . It was also made part of the PCA’s Accelerated Coconut Planting and Replanting Program which aims to provide quality planting materials in order to augment the capacity of PCA Seed Production Centers to address the 10 million target hybrids by 2022.
DOST said the project is geared towards guaranteeing the production and ensuring sustainability of quality hybrids for the production of selected high-value products including coconut sugar, virgin coconut oil (VCO), and buko. It will also capacitate extension workers and farmers with the hybridization technology.
With all the recent buzz about the efficacy of VCO in diminishing symptoms of COVID-19 patients, the demand for coconut-based products is expected to surge, DOST said.
Currently on its third year of implementation, the project was already able to produce and distribute approximately 3,000 hybrids of Tacunan Dwarf x Laguna Tall hybrids in Catanauan, Gumaca, General Luna and Candelaria Quezon, among many others. It was observed that the produced hybrid nuts are significantly robust, have thicker girth and good vegetative growth.
It is expected that the project will generate approximately 76,000 hybrid nuts/year after five years and will be distributed in several coconut planting areas in CALABARZON. At the same time, it is hoped that the same hybridization setup will be replicated in all the regions of the country to fully achieve the goal of replacing all the old and senile coconut stands in the country.