PIA Press Release Friday, June 17, 2011
Theobroma Cacao Chocolate Tree
Govt. brands coffee, cacao as 'reforestation species' by Jerome Carlo R. Paunan QUEZON CITY, June 17 (PIA) -- The administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, through its National Greening Program, has now classified coffee and cacao as "reforestation species" in its efforts to plant 1.5 billion trees in some 1.5 million hectares by 2016.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje on Friday said their agency has opted to include the coffee plant (of the genus Coffea) and the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) in its massive reforestation program because government wanted not only to “plant and conserve trees,” but at the same time, “address the issues of poverty and food security as well,” especially for residents in the countryside.
Aside from the two bean-producing species, the DENR also added mango and durian to its list of trees suited for their convergence tree-planting campaign with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Department of Agriculture (DA) to integrate the people, their economy, and their environment, Paje said during the special edition of the Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) Forum with members of media at the Philippine Information Agency in Quezon City....
The merging of the three departments is in line with the Enhanced National Convergence Initiative for Sustainable Rural Development, which facilitates the three agencies pooling together their resources to maximize the impact on countryside development and sustainable agriculture.
Paje also said that all the earnings these fruit-bearing species would provide will go directly to the upland farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries involved in the program or, if planted in communities, the community will benefit from the harvest....
Meanwhile, based on a recent study, coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the country and that the same is already an integral part of most Filipino's morning ritual. (RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)