Home Headlines DA funds, prioritizes big projects in Bataan

DA funds, prioritizes big projects in Bataan

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BALANGA City, Bataan: Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. admitted he was inspired by the  farm projects in Bataan and promised to pour more assistance to the province in the form of solar-powered cold storages, packaging and processing facilities and soil laboratory, among others.

Laurel made a farm tour Thursday visiting 1Bataan farms in Dinalupihan planted to vegetables using drip fertigation (combination of drip irrigation and application of fertilizers)  learned from the Israel Smart Agriculture Technology.

A project spearheaded by  3rd district Congresswoman Maria Angela Garcia, Dinalupihan municipal government and the provincial government, farmers plant palay during the rainy season and high value crops during the summer months.

Laurel said that the  farm using drip irrigation showcases the potential for substantial increase in crop quality and yield.  “This modern farming approach validated by success in Dinalupihan of 1Bataan farms underscores of the importance of the  science – based method in Philippine agriculture.”

“Actually, dahil sa bisita kong iyon nakita ko na road map para ma-eliminate natin or at  least  mabawasan natin o halos mabawasan natin ang import ng basic vegetables. Ito na solusyon.  Congratulations to all of you here, kayo ang timon, kayo ang perfect example,” Laurel said.

“Congratulations to all involved!  Nakakabilib ang aking nakita sa farm tour kanina. Inspired ako actually to drive your program, your example to a national level.  Since nag-umpisa kayo ng 40 farmers with the fertigation system, ituloy dito yan, focus dito and expand it,” he said.

“Maybe 90 farmers this year, 50 farmers next year until umabot ng 1,000 farmers sa 1,000 hectares.  We will also have storage facilities pero ang bagong technology na ipapasok natin yong walang kuryenteng ibabayad, solar power na.  Once makuha natin ang budget,  uunahin natin ang Bataan,” the secretary said.

Laurel later signed two memoranda of agreement at the Bunker, seat of the provincial government.

Also signing the MOA on the Limay Zero Kilometer Food project and Limay Invests for Farmer’s Triumph (LIFT) were Limay Mayor Nelson David, Bataan Peninsula State University President Ruby Matibag and Limay Polytechnic College President Elmer De Leon.

Ceremonial checks were handed by Laurel to Limay LGU led by Mayor Nelson David  for P5 million and  P38,077,871.98 to Mayor Jopet Inton for  the Onion cold storage facility of Hermosa Farmer’s Association.

A permanent Kadiwa store will be established in Limay to increase the income opportunities of farmers and provide affordable and fresh food for the community.

Laurel said that 15 large Kadiwa centers will be built in Metro Manila and Bataan will be given free space and other accommodation  for their products, except the transportation to be handled by the LGU.

The completion of the onion storage in Hermosa, he said, represents a typical milestone. “We need to put more cold storage.  This prevents post harvest losses and makes the groundwork for export programming.”

Laurel also pledged the establishment of a soil laboratory in Bataan. He said that they will get funds out of the savings of the Bureau of Soil water management.

“Unahin natin ang Bataan.  Napaka-importante ang soil lab para malaman natin talaga kung ano kailangan ng ating lupa. Savings yan sa farmers,  hindi na overkill paglalagay ng fertilizers, precision na, means more income for farmers,” he said.

Gov. Jose Enrique Garcia 3rd, 2nd district Cong. Albert Garcia, Ist district Rep. Geraldine Roman represented by Board member Tony Roman, 3rd district Cong. Maria Angela Garcia, Vice Gov. Cris Garcia, partylist Rep. Jett Nisay,  Balanga City Mayor Francis Garcia, Orion Mayor Tony Raymundo, Inton, David  and other provincial officials thanked Laurel for helping Bataan farmers.

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