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Government to address coconut infestation

Newly appointed Presidential Adviser for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization Secretary Francis Pangilinan and officials of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) have informed President Benigno S. Aquino III of the infestation in the country’s coconut farms.

During Tuesday’s press briefing in Malacanang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government aims to prevent the spread of the infestation through various means, as proposed by the PCA and supported by the Department of Science and Technology.

The government will allocate funds for the initiative, Coloma said, adding that local government units will also be involved in preventive and remedial measures to stop the spread of the infestation.

The coconut industry is a major part of the agricultural sector.

According to the PCA, of the country’s 12 million hectares of agricultural lands, 3.1 million hectares are coconut farms being tended by 3.5 million coconut farmers.

Some 25 million Filipinos are directly or indirectly dependent on the coconut industry, which is among the top five net foreign exchange earners, bringing in an average of $760 million per year, the PCA said.

May 23, 2015 21:20:54