Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PCA-Bicol: Initial survey shows copra market price to be affected by 26.6-M coconut trees felled by typhoon 'Nina'
By Mike Dela Rama

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 10 (PNA) -- An official of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office in Bicol said their initial survey and assessment showed a total of 26.6 million trees were damaged by typhoon Nina with total copra production losses valued at Php 700 million.

“Because of the big destruction to coconut plantations in Bicol, copra production and the market price of copra will be affected,” said Edmundo Bailon, PCA senior agriculturist.

He said they gathered partial figures based on the immediate survey and assessment made by teams from PCA-Bicol after the typhoon on Christmas day.

Bailon the teams of PCA-Bicol are still conducting an assessment in other areas.

He said the partial assessment showed that in Camarines Sur, felled were 17.8 million trees which “nut falls” when converted into copra would amount to copra production losses valued at Php413.5 million.

Bailon added that there were 8.16 million trees felled in Albay with an equivalent copra production losses of Php224.9 million while in Catanduanes there were 785,731 coconut trees felled with copra production losses estimated at Php67.7 million

He said among the six Bicol provinces, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon did not report any damage.

Bailon said the instruction of the PCA administrator to the regional office in Bicol is to provide immediate assistance to all coconut farmers in the form of technical help and supplies so the farmers could recover from the losses.

The annual nut production per tree and per year in the provinces of Albay is 30, Catanduanes–42, and Camarines Sur–74 nuts. (There is no record yet for the provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate).

Bailon said a tall coconut tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year but more often the yield is less than 30 fruits per year mainly due to poor cultural practices.

He said that given the proper care and growing conditions, a coconut tree produces its first fruit within six to ten years while it will take 15 to 20 years before a tree can reach peak production. (PNA) LAP/GVR/MDR/CBD/EDS