‘NegOcc maximizes agri potentials’

The Visayan Daily Star
BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the province is focused on maximizing its agricultural potentials to cater to the needs of the agri-fishery sector to attain productivity and profitability.

Lacson, in his State of the Province Address Tuesday, said almost half of the land area of the province remains to be agricultural; however, the farmers and fisherfolk remain to be one of the poorest sectors.

“At present, we have aging farmers, the average age between 57-60 years old. Our young people have no interest in pursuing a career in agriculture, maybe out of disenchantment,” he said.

He said that P6.521 million worth of projects, such as tramline and irrigation projects, were turned over to increase the agricultural productivity of farmers.

He said eight infrastructure projects, worth P15.989 million, were completed to support the farmers. These are the Panaad Organic Village, Negros First Integrated Agricultural Center, two equipment sheds, a practicum work area, a hatchery/fish breeding facility, rehabilitation of fish pond, and motor pool.

For rice production, 35,845.65 hectares in the province were planted from January to June this year. He added that 30,090 hectares were already harvested, with 135,896 metric tons total production.

Lacson said that part of the extension services provided by the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist to the farmers included the organization and monitoring of seed growers to ensure that high-quality seeds are produced, and the target 10-20 percent increase in productivity per hectare is achieved.

He also said the province’s Rice Processing Center, that started operations in 2018, was established to increase the milling recovery and cater to the needs of small millers, farmers, and agencies that will avail of its services.

He added the RPC has remitted P5,874,142.60 to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office.

Meanwhile, Lacson said Negros Occidental retains its status as African swine fever-free province amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the Provincial Veterinary Office has installed animal quarantine checkpoints and strengthened its veterinary inspection measures.*

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