ILOILO CITY The massive planting of coffee and cacao in Iloilo province is expected to start this May.
Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo said the delivery of planting materials amounting to PHP10 million is about to be completed.
The materials were sourced from the winning bidder based in Batangas.
He said that the delivery of materials started December 2017 and these are already available at the nursery in La Granja in La Paz District and Agri-Aqua Research and Technology (ART) Center at Barangay Nanga, Pototan, Iloilo.
But while the planting materials are available, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. recently requested Toledo to delay the distribution of the planting materials to farmers and start planting in May due to the approaching summer season.
If they plant it immediately, the mortality rate will be high. Let us delay it sometime in May because it is better if its survival rate will be high, the governor said during his Wednesday's press conference.
Toledo said they have supposedly scheduled a ceremonial planting and launching on Feb. 28 in a five-hectare planting area in Calinog, Iloilo to jumpstart the massive coffee and cacao planting in the province.
He added that they are also planning to distribute the planting materials this month to the towns identified as suitable for coffee and cacao planting.
But the governor requested Toledo to check first the projection of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) if the summer season may prolong.
The provincial government started embarking on massive coffee and cacao planting last year due to the high demand of these commodities in other parts of the world, allocating PHP10 million for the planting materials.
Toledo said that the delivered planting materials are composed of more than 9,000 grafted seedlings of cacao and over 8,000 grafted seedlings of coffee that are ready to plant.
Each planting material costs PHP50 each for cacao and PHP45 each for coffee.
PAO previously identified 22 towns in the province, covering about 1,300 hectares of land area are highly suitable for coffee and cacao. Most of these towns are found in the third district of the province.
Source: Philippine News Agency