By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing Agusan del Sur as pilot area for the planting of fast-growing Falcata trees.
This tree species is an ideal raw material for making wooden matches, wooden pallets and boxes for food and agricultural produces.
It is also used as core material for furniture, boards and kitchen cabinets, among others.
DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said organized farmers could use credit from DA’s Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program to purchase seeds from accredited nursery operators.
Farmers could loan a maximum of P25,000 per hectare he said, emphasizing that he would like agro-forestry to be included as an agricultural activity.
“We have to encourage farmers to plant more trees. I believe that through this program we will not only protect watershed areas but we will provide farmers source of income,” Piñol said.
The DA chief ordered DA Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteaguido to determine the farmers’ group that would be tapped to assist farmers and fisherfolk in preparing the required documents for the loaning program.
Piñol further said he would seek a meeting with officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to allow farmers to plant trees commercially in DENR-designated reforestation areas.
Tags: Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Sur eyed in pilot tree planting project, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Falcata trees, Manila Bulletin, Tree planting project
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