MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte September 17 (PIA) - The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) aims to plant 2,900 hectares more to coconut in the province by next year.

According to PCA Senior Staff Carmelita Maturan, after enlising those coconut farmers who are willing to join the growing and planting of coconut seedlings this year, the coconut agency of the government will start rolling its Participatory Coconut Planting Project, a new planting program with incentives by next year.

Maturan said coco farmers who are participating in the said project will grow their own coconut seedlings of their choice of variety and will be paid by the PCA at P18.00 per good coconut seedling.

Then after five months when the good seedling has already grown as high as two feet, the coconut agency will again pay the amount of P 22.00 per plant, she added.

"The project was conceptualized when farmers complained of worn coconut seedlings brought about by the transportation pressures when these are being brought by PCA down to their communities, " Maturan explained.

She said a farmer is entitled to at least one hectare to be planted with coconut under the project, wherein each hectare will be planted with 120 nuts., according to the project design. However, a maximum of five hectares per beneficiary can be availed if there is less participation among the coconut farmers in an area, she said.

A maximum of 2,900 farmers were expected to benefit the full-of incentives coconut growing and planting project, she added. (ajc/esg/PIA8 SoLeyte)