Ube production training held in Lubuagan
by Naty Itay-Genzola
LUBUAGAN, Kalinga (9 October) -- Two insurgency affected barangays here are recipients of a livelihood training sponsored recently by the Philippine Army.
Participants from barangays Tanglag and Uma attended the Ube Technical Livelihood Production Training conducted last September 12 and 13 with resource persons from Northern Philippines Root Crops Regional Training Center (NPRCRTC) at the Benguet State University.
Lt. Col. Francis Lardizabal, Commanding Officer of the 21st Infantry Battalion, 501st Brigade, Philippine Army said the selection of the two barangays despite their 'insurgency-affected' status is in line with the overall peace campaign of government which includes providing livelihood training to tribal folks in far-flung areas.
Hard up in life is one of the causes why the government is practically hard-up to convince the populace to its side. This is the reason for the conduct of this training to make people productive and engage in commercial business from this cash crop, Lardizabal said.
Ube thrives well in Lubuagan and the shortage of raw materials in the market was exploited by the 21st IB as a good source of income for the villagers, Lardizabal bared.
Dr. Johnny G. Dati, Director of NPRCRTC and Grace S. Backian, Pathologist/Researcher- NPRCRTC presented to the participants the viability of ube production in the area and how the product is now in-demand in the market. Produce from ube production will provide supply of cheap raw material to multi-national companies producing ube powder and chips.
Dati said the volume of demand could be produced provided wide tract of lands are devoted to it. As it reaches its commercial level, it can serve as main source of income for families in the area, he added.
Dr. Amelia Miranda, a medical specialist in Kalinga lectured on the potential of ube saying its marketability is high and there is a ready market for the product. A company in Alabang, Metro Manila needs at least 8-10 tons of raw ube a week, she told participants adding that there are some willing to buy the produce once full production is in effect.
According to Jesus Dureza of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process, government regards livelihood programs as crucial as NPA strongholds could potentially be transformed into economic growth hubs instead of battlefields. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]