The 1.09 million seedlings required as estimated by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) for its Coconut Planting/Replanting Project for the Province of Samar will be partly met as five (5) nurseries in the province are now nurturing thousands of seednuts. These nurseries have been contracted to propagate a total of 78,900 seednuts/seedlings for the farmer-beneficiaries in the province, especially for the municipalities of Basey, Marabut and Sta. Rita. These were sourced out from a supplier in Ubay, Bohol. According to Mr. Lowie Getigan, YRRP point person for Samar, mortality rate of seednuts is estimated to be at 15% due to very high temperature and possible improper handling during transport. PCA VIII said that seednuts will be distributed before the year ends.

According to Mr. Getigan, there must be a proper identification and assessment of the nursery to which the seednuts be grown to lessen mortality rate. PCA should be able to identify also local suppliers of seednuts in the region to cut transportation expenses and eliminate transport mishandling. If possible, each barangay should have growing area for seednuts so that it would be accessible to farmer beneficiaries.

Part of the project of the PCA is for farmer-beneficiaries of coconut seedling to be given allowance to transport those from the nursery. On the other hand, they are also given additional incentives on planting and even on fertilizing those existing coconut trees in their fields that should be revived.

Marlon T. Andrino, YPMO, NEDA VIII