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CL agri production lags behind other industries
By Ding Cervantes

May 18, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Agriculture growth in Central Luzon, the country’s traditional rice granary, now lags by 0.1 percent compared to other industries in the region.

But the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said the region is likely to regain its productive reputation in agriculture amid government investments in modern technology.

“Before, our farmers harvested only about 100 to 150 cavans of palay per hectare. With the use of combined harvester, they now yield double, with up to 300 cavans per hectare,” NEDA regional director Severino

Santos said in a briefing here. Santos also said that “provision of modern farm machineries and equipment to the farmers are now reducing post-harvest losses from 20 percent to only around 8 to 10 percent.”

“Despite the seemingly slow progress in Central Luzon’s agriculture sector in recent years, the government is doing its best for the sector to catch up with other sectors, particularly manufacturing,” he said.

“Despite the marginal economic growth in the agriculture sector, we still look up to agriculture as our sunshine industry as it has been traditionally a big contributor to the national economy,” Santos said.

Latest regional gross domestic product (GRDP) report of the government indicated that Central Luzon agricultural productivity now lags by 0.1 percent compared to other production sectors whose growth were in double digit percentages.

Santos explained, however, that the government has not failed in agriculture. “It is just that other industries accelerate faster than agriculture,” he noted.

“There are also external factors that affect this growth rate, including climate change and typhoons,” he also said.

In a bid to boost agriculture in Central Luzon, the government has launched more programs and projects, including 19 agri-research centers in Nueva Ecija, he said.

“The government is also investing in infrastructure development to protect the farmlands from flooding and other types of calamities,” he said.

Santos also said “the government is focusing on hybrid technologies to produce crops that can withstand extreme weather conditions.”

He noted that in the aquaculture industry, the government has continued to distribute boats and fingerlings to fisherfolk who are also assisted in marketing their produce.

“With these initiatives, we are optimistic that the agriculture sector will be able to at least catch up with the other sectors in the succeeding years,” he added.




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