By Estrella Z. Gallardo
The wide gap between supply and demand, which is aggravated by the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No. 23, also known as Logging Moratorium, there has been a shortage in Gmelina raw materials for the furniture industry in Region 2.
The moratorium restricts the cutting of trees in primary and secondary forests to protect the diminishing supply of premium and other commercial timbers including Gmelina trees from natural-growth forest.
With this development, Gmelina arborea, a fast growing Industrial Tree Plantations Species (ITPS), will be the sole source of raw materials for the furniture industry in the Cagayan Valley.
The STCBF aims to increase the income of Gmelina upland farmers in Isabela by enabling them to be more productive. It also aims to contribute to the environmental services through the adoption of science and technology interventions in Industrial Tree Farming (ITF).
A three-year project on “S&T Community-based Farm (STCBF) project on Gmelina” will serve as a model in the establishment of Industrial Tree Plantations (ITPs) in Region 02 with Yemane (Gmelina arborea) as main commodity.
The project will be led by the Isabela State University (ISU) College of Forestry and Environmental Management-Upland Resources and Development Center in coordination with the farmer/community leaders and LGU representatives from Cabagan, Isabela.
The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) continues to demonstrate its commitment to push for continuous economic growth through S&T interventions.
S&T interventions introduced in the project are site specific nutrient management, use of genetically superior planting materials, use of indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) and mycorrhiza technology, intercropping, and application of silvicultural treatments.
The implementation of these interventions is expected to increase the quality and quantity of trees to be harvested, increase the income of farmers in Gmelina Model Farms in Isabela, and contribute to environmental services to achieve a prosperous and more climate resilient upland communities in Region 2 (Philippine Press Club, Inc. (PPCII)).