Jatropha in Bohol Philippines

      Petrogreen Oil Commodity Holdings, Inc. and the Bohol Poverty Reduction Management Office (BPRMO) target to plant Jatropha in least 3,000 hectares by end of February as a starter.

      Petrogreen sponsored the first Jatropha Propagation Project (JPP) stakeholders' meeting on Friday last week at Soledad Suites Inn.

      Present during the meeting to explain the details of the project to about 60 BPRMO community organizers and coop members were Petrogreen president Ernst Stengg, Petrogreen Managing Director Poch Lamug, Petrogreen Director for Operations Dodong Pasaylo, Governor's Office Chief of Staff Antonieto Pernia- -project director of JPP, Visaya Eskaya Tribe (VET) Provincial Chieftain and Petrogreen Director Datu Roberto Datahan, and Barangay Captain Alfredo Datahan of Bayong, Guindulman.

      Lamug said the company's past efforts proved futile until Governor Erico Aumentado and Pernia talked with them about a tie up in another poverty reduction program under the BPRMO.

      In the arrangement, Petrogreen will maintain a nursery of PNOC-certified seedlings of Jatropha curcas, the PNOC will buy all the produce of the coops that these seedlings and BPRMO assists member coops in the administrative transactions.

      Petrogreen will also provide all the technical supports.

      Pernia said that every community organizer's projection is a minimum of 40 hectares per town or ten hectares per barangay based on a minimum target of organizing at least four barangays in every town, though this doesn't necessarily mean 10 hectares per coop.

      He also said the coop centers will serve as the buying stations and conduit for all transactions among members.

      He proposed that Petrogreen must give a certain allowance to coops for this service.

      Moreover, as incentive, Lamug said Petrogreen will give an award of P20,000 for the first community organizer to plant 40 hectares in a town at 2,500 seedlings per hectare.

      Then, the first cooperative to finish planting will receive a complete set of personal computer in the latest trend by December, Lamug added.

      Pernia added the idea of having a category on least mortality where after three months, Petrogreen will check the coops whose plantations have least overall mortality of seedlings and will receive P20,000 as incentive.

      So far, of Petrogreen's total plantation of 35-hectares in Valencia, 10 hectares cover intensive operation, Lamug said.

      He explained that the advantages of Jatropha include its long commercial or productive life which spans up to 50 years, its early productive age that starts at 15 months, and its minimal maintenance cost.

      Lamug said that while BPRMO coops under Pernia will plant in 3,000 hectares, he will plant in 10,000 hectares somewhere in Clarin and Sagbayan and the Visaya Eskaya tribe, under Datu Datahan, will plant in another 3,000 hectares. - Angeline Valencia