Friday, February 13, 2015

2 large farm owners turn to pili production
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 12 (PNA) -- Two large farm owners have joined the growing number of land owners who have realized the advantage of converting their otherwise idle lands into pili plantations.

Lawyer Victor dela Cruz and Nestor Llamas of Barangay Del Socorro, Minalabac, Camarines Sur, decided to devote four hectares each of their vast lands for the massive production of pili trees in support to “PILIpinas” – a joint project of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 and J. Emmanuel Pastries.

Joseph and Lydia Lomibao, J. Emmanuel Pastries owners, have been linking up with interested land owners throughout the region for a pili contract-growing scheme dubbed as “PILIpinas” to ensure the sustainability of the pili production processing industry.

Department of Agriculture Regional Executive Director Abelardo R. Bragas said that in order for the Bicol’s pili products to be more competitive in the global market, there is a need to develop the economies of scale for the Bicol’s pili.

Bragas added that aside from the great potentials of pili as a major export crop, it is also resistant to typhoons and pests and the fruits have long shelf life.

Earlier, the DA 5 High Value Crops Development Program headed by Rosita Imperial provided 400 grafted pili seedlings each to Dela Cruz and Llamas. After the pili plantation, the DA's next target are providing cacao and siling labuyo seedlings for intercropping.

The DA is also providing technical assistance for the establishment of scion grove and nursery through trainings, farm lay-outing and provision of materials for intercropping, and production of organic fertilizer for pili plantation. (PNA) CTB/FGS/CBD