Thursday, November 14, 2013
Intercropping coconut with cacao
From the The 2013 State of the Nation Address (SONA) Technical Report
The reliance of the coconut industry on copra for livelihood (170) is one of the reasons cited for the poverty among coconut farmers as gross income from this is only P20,000 per year. To help raise the income and productivity of coconut farmers, the government, through the Philippine Coconut Authority, is currently implementing coconut intercropping as a livelihood intervention under the Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan (KAANIB) Program’s Enterprise Development Project (EDP).(171) Coconut intercropping involves the planting of high-value crops in available spaces under coconut trees. (172)
In 2012, 90 KAANIB EDP sites have been established, benefiting 10,000 farmers. Around 5,500 ha of coconut farms were intercropped with cacao,(173) coffee, (174) banana,(175) pineapple, rambutan, durian, and citrus fruits. For 2013, an additional 434 sites benefiting more than 30,000 coconut farmers will be developed, of which 300 sites (15,000 ha) will be intercropped with coffee.
170 About 70 percent (2.45 million ha) of the coconut farms are monocropped. This means that most of the coconut farms have not yet been maximized to augment the income of the farmers.
171 KAANIB Program is a set of interventions (e.g., replanting, introduction of crops and livestock diversification) which aims to increase productivity in small coconut farms.
172 Priority intercrops under the project include coffee, cacao, banana, pineapple and corn. Aside from intercrops, livestock raising (e.g., goat and cattle) under the coconut trees is also considered an option to raise the productivity of the farm.
173 Intercropping coconut with cacao is estimated to yield gross income of P89,000/ha/year.
174 Intercropping coconut with coffee is estimated to yield gross income of P172,400/ha/year.
175 Intercropping coconut with banana is estimated to yield gross income of P102,325/ha/year.