SIQUIJOR, Siquijor, Sept. 26 (PIA) – Prior to the implementation of the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 7 met with the agriculture sector here to discuss agricultural plans until 2025.
In a press release, DA7 said a series of discussions with Gov. Jake Vincent Villa was done, together with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Office and Veterinary Office, local chief executives, municipal agricultural offices, state universities and colleges, farmer organizations, among others, where the stakeholders presented their agri-fishery plans and projects for the next three years.
This aims to strengthen the collaboration between the national and local government units, academe, and the private sectors and improve the coordination, synchronization, and joint execution of programs and projects, thru the establishment of Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES), DA7 said.
According to DA7 Officer-in-Charge-Regional Executive Director Joel Elumba, he sees Siquijor to be a self-producing island with varied agricultural commodities to support its population.
“Siquijor could have an island circular economy with its own production, self-sufficient agri-fishery commodity,” said Elumba.
“We should unify, merge, and integrate all plans to improve and increase local production. Tudlu-an natu ang mag-uuma sa paggamit sa mga makinarya aron (We should teach our farmers how to use the machines to) ma-lower ang production cost,” added Elumba.
With PAFES, the province serves as an extension hub that synchronizes agricultural plans and programs as well as orchestrate the activities of the various stakeholders.
DA will co-plan, co-invest, co-implement, and co-monitor priority projects in the provinces, particularly as they embark on commodity specializations to maximize comparative advantage.
Regional Technical Director for Operations Engr. Cirilo Namoc echoed Elumba’s call to maintain and strengthen the cooperation, collaboration, and coordination between DA, the Province of Siquijor, and LGUs.
Both said the agri-fishery plan should be focused on increasing local food production, farm diversification, and food processing and manufacturing.
They also urged the municipal agricultural offices to enroll farmers in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture and join farmer organizations for easy access to programs.
Field Operations Division Chief Gerry Avila said the establishment of PAFES will result to a dynamic and more developed agriculture sector.
It can be recalled than on August 26, Gov. Jake Vincent Villa officially signed the Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of PAFES in Siquijor.
“Subay kini sa atong gipahayag nga tumong nga makab-ot ug mapadayon ang food security sa atong probinsya (This is in response to our goal to continue and achieve local food security),” said Villa.
He thanked DA for giving much attention to the development of the agricultural sector in the province.
“Makahatag kini ug dako nga kadasig sa sektor sa agrikultura ug pagpangisda sa atong probinsya, aron maghiusa ug magdungan ang mga plano ug programa sa agrikultura sa tanang local government units sa Siquijor ngadto sa usa ka consolidated plan alang sa tanan (This will encourage our agri-fishery sector to work on our plans and projects harmonically towards a consolidated plan),” added Villa.
The provincial government is expected to map out its Collaborative Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Program (CPAFEP) this month, integrating set of projects and activities, sharing technical, market, policy, and related advisory. (RAC/PIA7 Siquijor with reports from Mary Jane Banglos, DA-PATCO Siquijor)