To boost coconut farming in Mindanao, groups to plant a million trees

August 26, 2021 - 2:09 PM
A farmer at a coconut farm (The STAR/File)

Several groups sought to plant one million coconut trees to boost the livelihoods of the coconut farming community in Mindanao in the next two years.

Through a joint initiative, Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF), mobile wallet GCash and non-profit organization HOPE aim to “improve coconut farming productivity and quality of supply” in Sarangani and South Cotabato.

The tree-planting project will cover the areas of Banga, Surallah, Norala, Koronadal, General Santos City, Malungon, Glan, Alabel, Malapatan, Maasim, Kiamba, Maitum, Polomok, Tampakan and Tupi. 

Noel Tempongko, CNPF vice president and general manager of the Coconut Division, said the sustainability program is geared towards “carbon neutrality.”

In 2020, the company signed a partnership with HOPE to provide coconut farmers with 100,000 coconut seedlings annually for the next five years.   

It projects that this initiative will eliminate approximately 416,680 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

READ: Century Pacific Food Inc. pledges green with 5 sustainability initiatives

Meanwhile, Nanette Medved-Po, HOPE chairperson and president, said it will encourage millions of GCash users “to preserve the environment while helping to support smallholder farmers.”

From virtual to actual trees

GCash users can participate in the project through GForest by collecting “green energy,” which can be collected to plant virtual trees.

For every virtual tree planted, CNPF, GCash and HOPE will plant a real coconut tree.

Several users on Twitter have already started planting coconut and molave trees this August.

GCash and its partner organizations launched GForest in 2019. It is inspired by the Alipay Ant Forest of Alibaba, which helped 500 million users plant 100 million trees.

Last July, the Philippine Coconut Authority launched its coconut farmers and industry development roadmap, with key strategies such as increased social protection for farmers, improved production, and enhanced trade.