Basilan is now identified as a centre of commercial crops in the ARMM. It is an opportunity to enhance the province’s potential for agricultural development. This proposal is a vital support to this major strategy. The farmers and the land owners will be encouraged or motivated to plant rubber in their open areas and areas planted to senile rubber/coconuts and other coconut areas especially in Agrarian Reform Communities. Initially, the project will focus on the establishment of 0.5 hectare of nursery and 0.5 hectare of budwood/ multiplication garden under the care of BSC to propagate the seven NSIC-recommended clones, namely, PB217, PB235, PB260, PB311, PB330, RRIM600, and USM1. A central nursery with a water system & perimeter fencing maintained within the BSC campus will ensure the continuous availability of said clones.
At the same time, in order to promote and maximize these superior clones, it will also be necessary to have strategically-located demonstration farms where rubber farmers can see first-hand the latest practices in operating a rubber plantation. Hence, this proposal only covers the first phase, which is on establishing the nursery, the budwood garden, and the demo farms, and on capacity building of farmer-adopters. But the project will be followed immediately by a second phase to focus on monitoring and evaluating the proper management of rubber and rubber-coconut plantations through the best S&T practices. Other interventions include the annual Technology or Farmers’ Field Day, IEC development and translation, stakeholder linkaging, and policy development & recommendation.