Villar urges coco farmers to practice inter-cropping

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Committee on Agriculture chair Senator Cynthia Villar urged coconut farmers across the country to practice inter-cropping as a way to increase their source of income.

Villar issued the statement in the wake of fluctuating copra prices being experienced by coco farmers in Leyte and Samar areas. As of press time the prevailing price of copra is P10 per kilo.

“Coco farmers should think other sources of income like inter-cropping, livestock raising and coffee and cacao farming,” VIllar told reporters on the sidelines of Hugpong Ng Pagbabago’s opening salvo held at the Pampanga Provincial Capitol grounds on Tuesday (Feb 12).

Aside from copra, Villar said coco farmers should venture into coco water and coco sugar as these products are highly in-demand abroad.

“I attended a food fair in Germany where coco water is being processed into coco sugar,” said Villar, adding that the government will provide training and processing equipment.

Coco farmers can plant cacao and coffee under the coconut tree while raising livestock that produce dairy products. “There’s a big demand for our coffee, chocolate and dairy products abroad.”

Villar said she sponsored two senate bills including the Coco Levy Fund and the Coconut Industry Development Fund.

Sad to say, VIllar said the Coco Levy Fund Bill was vetoed by the president.

“I don’t know the reason behind, that is why I’m seeking audience with the President para alamin kung ano ang dahilan,” she said.

The Coconut Industry Development Bill is now on the table of the President for signature, said Villar, adding under the law about P10-billion fund will be allocated to help 3.5 million coco farmers.

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