30,000 hectare rubber plantation expected to thrive in Southern Mindanao

May 1, 2009 11:14 am 

By Mike U. Crismundo

NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley, April 30 -– A vast tract of agricultural land that straddles four Southern Mindanao provinces is being developed by the government to grow rubber trees for the production of rubber and manufacure of rubber related products, officials revealed on Thursday.

The projected rubber plantation area which totals at least 30,000 hectares is situated in the quad boundaries of Compostela Valley (ComVal), Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Southern Mindanao said the five-year rubber development plan is all set for the maintenance of the regional clonal garden.

The government set aside at least Php 15 million Rural and Upland Barangays Benefiting from Employment in Rubber (RUBBER) project for the 10 year rubber plantation project in the region.

The government fund will bankroll the development of the 30,000 hectares of rubber plantation in the region for the next 10 years, the DOLE said.

The DOLE said that this project is part of the 1 million hectare target of the National Strategic Plan for Rubber (NSPR) for the year 2023.

The DOLE said this project will not only produce but also generate local employment.

"The RUBBER project is timely enough to provide additional employment for farmers especially in the middle of a global financial crisis," said Southern Mindanao DOLE Official Ofelia Domingo.

At least 40,000 new high yielding rubber seedlings were prepared along with the equipment for the land preparation and maintenance of the said clonal garden, the DOLE said.

The DOLE already hired 9 workers, 75 Polly baggers and a farm supervisor to man the newly constructed administration building, storage, nursery and water facilities for irrigation located in Sto Nino area, Mandug.

Asst. Regional Director Domingo said the DOLE specifically promotes rubber not only for its potential for decent job creation and income augmentation but it is also suitable to climatic conditions, and can be cultivated by farmers with small landholdings in hilly and upland areas.

“This is suitable to climatic conditions, create jobs and additional income to villagers in the countryside,” the DOLE official said. (PNA)

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