Use coco levy fund to replant and intercrop
Neal H. Cruz, in his column “Comelec warns pols against premature campaigning” (Opinion, 11/28/14) “hit the nail on the head” when he wrote, among others, that the coco levy “fund should not just be divided among the coconut farmers and returned to them.”
I agree with him that the fund be used instead for the massive coconut replanting and, if I may add, intercropping programs as many of the trees including lanzones, rambutan, etc. have been toppled by strong typhoons, aside from the fact that old coco trees have been cut down and sawn into lumber.
I suggest as well that the fund be used for the purchase of coconut seedlings, fertilizers and high-value fruit trees such as rambutan, lanzones, coffee, cacao, rubber and distributed for free to coconut farmers all over the country.
Finally, I strongly urge our government to give cash subsidies to coconut farmers for the replanting and intercropping program to tide them over while waiting for their coconut trees and high-value crops to bear fruits.
—CRISOSTOMO B. VILAR,
former vice mayor, Pagsanjan, Laguna,
and chair, Cocofed, Pagsanjan Chapter