DA CAR turns 21; Looking back and going forward
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (27 June) -- The Department of Agriculture Cordillera (DA-CAR) is celebrating its 21st anniversary this month with the theme, "Looking back and going forward."
In a kapihan forum Wednesday, DA Cordillera Regional Director Cesar Rodriguez proudly cited the different programs the department has accomplished so far and he assured that DA will continue bringing in its programs until it reach all the areas in the region, so as to bring in support to all farmers and livestock growers.
According to Rodriguez, DA is working hard to strengthen the rice production program in the region, not only for our lowland farmers but for the upland farmers as well. In partnership with the local government units, rice terraces farmers have now the opportunity to market their native rice abroad. They have exported at least five tons of native rice in the United States already.
"Maganda ang demand (for Cordillera native rice), not only in the US but also from Middle East countries as well, so what the DA will do now is to continue giving our farmers support, especially, in terms of post harvest facility, para mapabilis ang produksyon at matugunan ang pangangailangan ng merkado," Rodriguez added.
There are three native rice varieties in Cordillera, "Unoy" from Kalinga, "Tinawon" from Ifugao and the "Igorot rice" from Mountain Province. DA Secretary Arthur Yap, himself is fully supporting the production of such native variety of rice, Rodriguez added.
Rodriguez also bared that the DA is also supporting rice farmers through "Palay" seeds subsidy, and is introducing hybrid rice production in Cordillera. He informed that one of the first hybrid commercial rice producer/seed grower in the country is from Kalinga.
As for vegetable crops, Rodriguez said that this is one area that the DA can not live without programs. The department has been supporting vegetable farmers through technical information and training, the DA is also introducing to them some pest management approach so as to minimize the use of pesticides.
In relation to this, Rodriguez assured that vegetables produced in the Cordillera, are safe to eat, as there are no traces of pesticides or very minimal, if ever based on the study done by the University of the Philippines. (PIA) [top]