LUCENA CITY, Quezon — The provincial government, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), has vowed to increase farm production and income through sustainable programs and projects.
Provincial Administrator Roberto Gajo presented the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data indicating Quezon remains as the top agricultural producing province of various farm products in the Calabarzon Region (Region 4-A), which groups Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.
He said the province’s share in the region’s ‘palay’ (rice) production reaches 42 percent while corn production at 75 percent; fruits –26 percent; coconuts — 86 percent; and vegetables — 62 percent.
“Ibig sabihin, sa lawak po ng mga lupain ng lalawigan ng Quezon na pinagyayaman ng ating mga magsasaka, nagbigay ito ng kongkretong resulta pagdating sa antas ng produksyon (this means that the vast farmlands of Quezon tilled by our farmers have resulted in concrete results in the high level of production),” he said.
Gajo noted that Governor David Suarez has directed to boost the income not only of the farmers and fisherfolk but also their cooperatives and associations.
He said higher income translates to not just ensuring there is food in the household, but also savings for their daily basic necessities and education for their children.
Gajo said there are other projects and programs that can provide alternative livelihood and enterprise support services to farmers and the agricultural workers, in partnership with the city and municipal agricultural offices and the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Coconut Authority.
These include processing and production of virgin coconut oil, coconut sap sugar, “lambanog” (coco wine), and copra besides its other by-products.
Gajo further said “Serbisyong Suarez sa Agrikultura” (Suarez agriculture services) also promotes other alternative livelihood for farmers, such as the Quezon herbal program which established the Quezon herbal pavilion at the Quezon National Park in Atimonan town.
He disclosed that a year after the herbal program’s implementation, the pavilion and the various seminars conducted at the site have drawn around 15,000 tourists and educational and field visitors.
Gajo said the provincial government also provides crop insurance benefits aimed at helping farmers, fisherfolk and the agricultural sector during accidents, calamities and other emergencies, as this sector is highly vulnerable to disasters and climate change.
He identified OPA’s various programs in support to the agricultural development strategies of the province, including production enhancement support program; farm mechanization and post-production management program; and agri-enterprise development program. (Gideon Belen/PNA)