More than 8,000 planting materials of a coconut hybrid have been harvested from sites in Quezon province under the coconut hybridization project funded by Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) .
The DOST-PCAARRD said the project dubbed “Performance Evaluation of the 2-pronged Coconut Hybridization Scheme in CALABARZON” sought to ensure the availability of coconut hybrids for the Philippine Coconut Authority’s (PCA) massive coconut planting and replanting program in the region.
“A coconut hybridization project continues to improve coconut production in Calabarzon,” it said in a statement.
The Council said the project also intended to capacitate extension workers and farmers with the assisted and directed natural hybridization technology.
“About 8,197 planting materials of PCA 15-10 (Tacunan Dwarf x Laguna Tall) hybrid, the variety best suited for sap production, have been harvested from project sites in Quezon,” it said.
It noted that almost 40 percent of the planting materials were distributed to 15 farmers and field-planted in 25.5 hectares in Quezon, Cavite, and Laguna, and other planting materials were given to an interested farmer in Torrijos, Marinduque, it said.
“It was observed that the produced hybrid nuts are significantly robust, have thicker girth, and good vegetative growth,” PCAARRD said.
The project is being implemented by PCA-Region IV under the supervision of PCA Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Erlene C. Manohar.
The project’s Science and Technology Consultant, Dr. Violeta N. Villegas said “the replanting of the old and senile palms will improve the country’s coconut production and consequently improve farm income and the lives of coconut farmers.”
Manohar also expressed hope that the planting of hybrids would aid the Philippine coconut industry’s pursuit towards global competitiveness, considering the increasing demand for emerging high-value products in the global and domestic markets.
The implementation of the project was reviewed by the DOST-PCAARRD, project team members from PCA-Region IV and PCA-Zamboanga Research Center, as well as the Crops Research Division representatives led by its Director, Dr. Edna A. Anit.