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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2012


DA 8 moves to establish 3 food gateways in Region 8

MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, Jan 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 8 Office is planning on having three major points in the region to serve as its food gateways, a technical consultant revealed to the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Thursday.

Leo Abejuela, the technical consultant and adviser on a special agriculture program in the region said the three cities of Ormoc, Maasin, and Calbayog were selected because of the presence of functional shipping ports.

“We already have the Ormoc-Kananga re-governing Agriculture to Nurture Growth and Empowerment (OK Range), an organization that started in June 8, 2011 and was formalized in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing with DA Secretary Proceso Alacala on December 12, 2011,” Abejuela told PIA on the sidelines of an Agri-Tourism Coop Summit held here Thursday.

He described the undertaking as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), along with the Energy Development Corporation -- Leyte Geothermal Production Field (EDC-LGPF) as the private partner, under its Corporate Social Responsibility – Community Partnership Department (CSR-CPD) headed by Engr. Emiliano Agoncillo.

A similar food production template will be adopted in the city and for Southern Leyte province, then later at Calbayog, Abejuela said.

He said this was the initiative of the agriculture department, and this coincided with the dream of Cong. Roger Mercado for the province to be an exporter, no longer the end-user, of agriculture products very soon.

Cong. Mercado on Thursday mobilized various sectors to be one with him in a rallying movement to boost agricultural production so the province will become self-reliant and no longer rely on supply of agri-products from other regions.

As part of the strategy to realize this aspiration, Abejuela said he will be roving around the province, interact with people’s organizations and local government units, and others concerned sectors, to synchronize the Congressman’s and DA 8's food gateways dreams.

The model, OK Range, was basically composed of 23 existing associations coming from 16 barangays consolidated by EDC to maintain a steady supply chain from production to market.

The whole OK Range was composed of one Diversified Integrated Production Unit (DIPO) consisting of 25 hectares broken down into seven component business units (CBU) as follows: vegetable farm, five hectares; ornamental plants, one hectare; fruits, eight hectares; cacao/coffee, five hectares; bio-organic fertilizer, one and a half hectares; cattle production, two and a half hectares, and sheep production, two and a half hectares. (PIA8-Southern Leyte)

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