Target: President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino
Goal: Get the Filipino coconut industry to fight infestations with organic pest control programs
The coconut industry in the Philippines supports millions of people and is on the verge of collapse due to a massive insect infestation. The infestation can be solved using inexpensive and organic methods, however the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has instead given into the interests of the chemical industry, which puts high costs on farmers and threatens the quality of the coconuts.
The identified insect is called Aspidiotus and has infested almost 200 million coconuts trees in the Philippines. This is a common pest of coconuts and bananas and there is widely available research that shows natural remedies to control an infestation. For example, integrated pest management systems that use natural enemies and organic pesticides are both successful and safe for the environment. The proposed chemical solution requires injecting a highly toxic chemical into the trunk of the trees, which farmers insist will make the coconuts’ juice sour. These poisonous coconuts will then be unmarketable and products will lose their international organic certifications.
Although this infestation could be solved through inexpensive organic means, the PCA is instead promoting the interests of the chemical industry at the expense of coconut farmers. The coconut industry supports millions of Filipinos and it is important to stand up for their interests rather than sell out to the interests of chemical companies. This petition asks President Aquino to demand the PCA to use organic, rather than chemical, pest control on coconuts in the Philippines.
Dear President Aquino,
The infestation problem faced by the coconut industry in the Philippines requires immediate action. However, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) supports the use of a highly toxic chemical to treat the infestation. This chemical solution puts high costs on farmers, threatens the quality of the coconuts and further threatens the coconut industry. The coconut industry supports millions of Filipinos and it is important to stand up for their interests.
There are many studies, for example from cabdirect.org, which discuss successful attempts to control this infestation through organic means. Although this infestation could be solved using an inexpensive, organic, and environmentally safe method, the PCA is instead promoting the interests of the chemical industry at the expense of coconut farmers. This petition demands that the PCA use organic rather than chemical pest control methods to fight the coconut infestation in the Philippines.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ranjithsiji via Wikimedia Commons