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PIA Press Release

DA to put up 15 more post-harvest facilities in Region 9

By Franklin P. Gumapon

Dipolog City (14 February) -- After the recent inauguration of a modern corn post-harvest facility at Sergio Osmeņa town in Zamboanga del Norte, Sec. Arthur C. Yap of the Department of Agriculture has pledged to construct 15 more corn post-harvest facilities in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte.

Yap expressed optimism that these pos-harvest facilities will be realized as "this government has money" to construct them.

He said previous administrations, from President Marcos to President Estrada, there was no program for post-harvest facilities. "President Ferdinand Marcos focused on irrigation and seeds. Under President Corazon Aquino, President Fidel Ramos and President Joseph Estrada, the support to agriculture was not that vigorous because there was no money," Yap told local media practitioners.

"This time, under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, we can construct more post-harvest facilities because there is money," the agriculture chief declared.

He also said that Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte will each receive five corn post-harvest facilities by next year.

Yap disclosed that the agriculture department is now stepping up the construction of post-harvest facilities to help reduce farmers' post-harvest losses from 15 percent to five percent.

Yap said, "Kailangan kumita ang magsasaka. Pagkumita ang magsasaka, lalago ang agrikultura." (The farmers must earn. If the farmers are earning, agriculture will improve.)

According to Yap, the National Food Authority (NFA) is also going to restructure P8-10 billion in its finances for post-harvest facilities.

Sec. Yap was here recently to inaugurate the P33-million corn post-harvest processing and trading center erected at Sergio Osmeņa town, some 39 kilometers northeast of this city. (PIA-ZN) [top]

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