With a P13 M grant from the National Economic and Development Authority, the UPLB Land Grant Management Office LGMO) is setting-up a 120-hectare mixed plantation site within the UP Laguna-Quezon land grant. An 80-hectare plantation adjacent the land grant is also being developed for livelihood opportunities of people living in the nearby upland communities.
In a report by Forester Sofronio C. Camacho of the LGMO, Tubang-bakod (Jatropha curcas) and Bani (Pongamia pinnata) will soon be planted in the areas. Tubang-bakod has gained prominence in the country for its biofuel potential, while Bani seed oil, found to be also useful in diesel generators, is now being eyed worldwide as a biodiesel feedstock.
The university hopes to eventually sell biofuel oil to the Philippine Forest Corporation and Philippine National Oil Company.
Fast-growing and non-traditional forest species such as bagalunga, batino, anchoan dilaw and malapapaya will also be grown for timber. Wood from the forest plantation will be processed into kiln dried lumber, furniture, fixture and housing material components later on.
Currently put up in the project site are two large nurseries that are continuously producing quality seedlings for planting materials. Forester Camacho also reported that organizing work is being done in the communities near the project site. (Florante Cruz, http://rdenews.uplb.edu.ph)