PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
DA, DAR launch sugarcane 'block farming'QUEZON CITY, Jan. 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) launched over the weekend a sugarcane "block farm” project in Tuy, Batangas.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the project is a component of the DA-SRA sugar industry roadmap to encourage small farmers to form themselves into groups or cooperatives and adopt ‘economies of scale’ to make their farm operations--land preparation, planting, fertilization and harvesting--more cost-efficient and thus more profitable per unit area.
Alcala said the DA-SRA,in partnership with sugarcane farmers, sugar milling districts and other sugar industry stakeholders--will sustain the production of sugar for both food and biofuel feedstock.
Under the block farming system, small farms of less than 10 hectares will be consolidated and integrated through various schemes such as contract, joint venture, partnership, and sharing. To attain economies of scale, the ‘block farms’should have a total area ranging from 30 to 50 hectares.
The project will initially cover 927 hectares in Tuy, Batangas, involving 919 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), belonging to four cooperatives. The block farm project will also be implemented in other interested sugarcane farms in Lian, Nasugbu and Balayan, all in Batangas.
The project launch also included a forging of a memorandum of agreement among Alcala, DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, and SRA Administrator Ma. Regina Bautista, chairpersons of the four ARBs, Tuy Mayor Jose Cerrado, and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto. (DA/RJB/JCP-PIA NCR)