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PIA Press Release

Over half a million coffee seedlings now planted in Southern Leyte

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (November 14) -- If all goes well according to plan, Southern Leyte province will be home to robusta coffee.

Early this year, Rep. Roger Mercado initiated the first step of acquiring robusta coffee seeds, germinated it at his nursery farm in barangay Bogo here and, before long, the estimated 700.000 grown seedlings were widely distributed throughout the province's 18 towns and one city.

On Wednesday, November 12, during a consultation-dialogue with the agriculture officers, Cong. Mercado announced that there were only 40,000 seedlings left at the Bogo nursery.

That means some 660,000 of the same variety of ready-to-plant coffee were already planted.

The municipal agriculture officers did confirm having received dumptruck-loads of the said seedlings, and they in turn distributed it to interested farmers in their respective towns.

A lady agriculturist from Hinundayan reported that they had an allocation of 40,000 and as of latest inventory there were only 23,000 left.

She said the coffee growers in their town were organized into an association, and those who want to plant would have had to undergo an orientation first before being provided the seedlings to plant.

Aida Morsen, a staff at the Congressman's office, also confirmed the massive distribution of the coffee seedlings, saying that some local government units in one hauling got 3,000 or 10,000 seedlings.

Cong. Mercado has been pushing for a province-wide commercial agricultural development, saying this was one way to entice ship owners to come when farm production will be high.

The meeting with the agriculture officers was attended by Albert Fenix, a successful agri-businessman who is a native of Hinundayan town.

Fenix has been into abaca production and utilization, and he was propagating a variety of abaca grown from its seeds that is resistant to the dreaded bunchy top virus, it was learned. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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