N. Cotabato farmers get oil palm, cacao seedlings from provincial gov't

July 1, 2015 9:25 am 

KIDAPAWAN CITY, June 30 — The provincial government of North Cotabato continues its Seedlings Dispersal Program with 280 small farmers from five towns receiving seedlings of oil palm and cacao on Tuesday, local officials said.

These farmers are from the municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen, M’lang, Antipas and Tulunan.

The turnover ceremony, held at Triple P Farm in Barangay Katidtuan, Kabacan, was led by North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza and Provincial Agriculturist Eliseo M. Mangliwan who handed oil palm seedling over to some 240 farmers to be planted in their respective nurseries or farms.

Another 47 farmers were also given cacao seedlings by Mendoza and Mangliwan in a separate ceremonial distribution at the Agri-Center, Capitol Compound, Amas, Kidapawan City.

“The provincial government of Cotabato continues an integrated approach of assisting farmers, especially those affected by the long drought in February to May of this year,” Mendoza said.

“With sensible programs, we aim to improve the living conditions of our farmers by giving what is useful and practical for them. In this case, the seedlings will serve as augmentation for their existing farms,” she added.

One of the highlights of the dispersal program in Barangay Katidtuan and in the Agri-Center was the opportunity for farmers to talk to the governor and updated her on the status of their respective farms.

Maribeth Alejo of Antipas and Rogelio Quintero of New Janiway Village, M’lang, two of the recipients of oil palm seedlings, expressed their gratitude for the assistance which they referred to as instrument to help small farmers like them.

On the other hand, Pablo Gasang of Kidapawan City, Felix Felices of Pangao-an Village, Magpet lauded Mendoza for her efforts in improving the lives of the farmers and the rest of her constituents.

The OPAG had already distributed thousands of seedlings of high value crops to barangay-based farmers and farmers’ organizations since 2010.

According to Mangliwan, the budget for cacao dispersal for 2014 was PhP3 million while PhP3.8 million is allotted for 2015.

On the other hand, the budget for oil palm dispersal for 2015 is PhP20 million.

Mangliwan said that oil palm and cacao are highly potential to become foremost agricultural products of North Cotabato as they suit well to the climate, soil and topography of the province.

“We are targeting thousands of hectares of land, both planted with crops and idle lands to be planted with oil palm and cacao and encourage more farmers to engage in the program,” said Mangliwan.

Along with the dispersal, the OPAG provides briefing, training and other assistance that the beneficiaries need to sustain and improve the crops.

The OPAG further explained that aside from responding to various needs of farmers, the dispersal program is designed to facilitate effective coordination between the OPAG and the farmers from different barangays, thus strengthening relationships and making easier for the provincial government to tap the beneficiaries to avail of other projects.

Board Member Loreto V. Cabaya Jr., chair of the Committee on Agriculture of the provincial board, said the oil palm and cacao industry will help boost the province’s economy because of its high potential in the local and international market. (PNA)



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