Potential areas for planting rubber and cacao
provinces of Compostela Valley and Basilan have been identified as high potential areas for planting rubber and cacao, respectively.
This development came following a study conducted by the College of Forestry and Natural Resources and Institute of Renewable and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Compostela Valley recorded 29.8 percent of the area that has high potential for planting rubber, followed by North Cotabato with 20.8 percent.
Zamboanga Sibugay, which currently has 66,484 hectares of plantation, has the largest area planted with rubber.
This is followed by North Cotabato with 59,387 hectares of land planted with rubber.
Basilan also recorded 10.7 percent of the area that has high potential for planting cacao, followed by Davao Oriental with 10.1 percent.
At present, Davao Oriental recorded 6,920 hectares of cacao plantation, which is the highest total area planted with cacao. Compostela Valley follows with 5,879 hectares of land planted with cacao. The study, “Geographic Information System ( GIS)- based inventory and sustainability for rubber and cacao in major production areas of the Philippines,” is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
The project aimed to develop a national database on the locations of plantations and production and also identify possible expansion areas.
These areas were identified through important parameters for habitat suitability and niche modelling.
Specifically, the potential areas were identified by assessing the area’s rainfall, temperature, slope, elevation, land cover, and quality of soil.
The project also equipped members of the local and national government agencies with knowledge and know-how in sustaining plantations of rubber and cacao.
In a related development, key personnel coming from the DOST-PCAARRD visited two rubber project sites in Isabela and Quezon recently.
They conducted a field monitoring visit in Echague, Isabela and Tiaong, Quezon to evaluate the status and progress of the project.
They also coordinated with the project team to ensure that its implementation is running smoothly.
The project titled “Technology Adaptation and Performance Trial of Recommended Rubber and Other Promising Rubber Clones in the Philippines” is part of the program, “Nationwide Clonal Adaptation and Performance Trial of Recommended Rubber and Other Promising Rubber Clones in the Philippines.”
It is implemented by the University of Southern Mindanao, Isabela State University, Western Philippines University, Western Mindanao State University, Southern Luzon State University, Central Mindanao University, and Department of Agriculture-RFO 9 Research Division. The Program covers Regions 2, 4-A, 4-B, 9, 10, and 12. By the end of its implementation, it is expected to identify and recommend additional high-yielding clones for NSIC certification suitable to sites and environmental conditions in the Philippines and develop precision grafting technology and propagation techniques of these clones for rapid propagation through innovative techniques.
The program team will also innovate root trainer technique in producing quality planting materials to hasten maturity period under nursery conditions; develop information, education, and communication materials, and conduct cost and return analysis to determine financial viability of the technologies. com/ PN)