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PIA Press Release
Friday, January 27, 2012

8th PAFC Summit supports opportunities for Mindanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 27 (PIA) -- This city held recently the 8th Mindanao-wide Provincial Agricultural and Fisheries Council (PAFC) with over 300 participants composed of provincial and municipal AFC officials and members to include farmers and fishery leaders, youth and women (from regions 9,10,11,12,13 and ARMM). The said summit was held at the Regency Convention Center in Pasonanca.

During the opening program, City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat, who represented Mayor Lobregat, in his speech said, “The local government unit under our administration is effectively addressing the problems affecting the agriculture and fisheries sectors with the Office of the City Agriculturist taking the lead in all efforts that promote production, protection and research and development of agri-fishery commodities with strong private participation. Last year, we implemented over P152.58 million worth of agri-fisheries related infrastructure broken down as follows: Irrigation – P21.51 million, Farm-to-market roads – P129.89 million and seaweed dryers amounting to P 1.81 million. This year, I am sure, the figures have tripled.”

Referring to Mindanao as the food basket of the country, he said, “Focus was also given to the implementation of RA 10068 or the Organic Act of 2010 to promote and develop organic agriculture in the city. This is expected to increase productivity, reduce environmental degradation and prevent depletion of natural resources, protect the health of the farmers and help cut expenses on imported farm inputs. We hope to have completed the construction, rehabilitation and improvement of 14 irrigation structures amounting to P32.8 million, construction of 12 prototype seaweed dryers/stilt dryers worth P11.1 million, strengthening of rural-based organizations, the conduct of livelihood trainings and farm demonstrations before the year ends.”

In his message, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Executive Director Eduardo B. Holoyohoy also pronounced and appeal to the AFCs to help DA amplify the mission of Secretary Proceso J. Alcala of food security thru the Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP). “Rice is not the only staple available in our country. Let us learn to eat other staples like corn grits, cassava, gabi or taro, sweet potato, banana and adlai or jobs tears.”

The summit discussed lectures on Guidelines for Halal Food, Roadmap on Coconut Industry, Organic fertilizer, White Corn as staple food, Cassava value chain, Fertilizer and pesticides registration and licensing, DA-DILG Joint Administrative Order No.1 for closed season sardine fishing, Legislative Agenda Under the 15th Congress and DA Priority Legislation, Climate Change, PCA Zamboanga Research Center, and the Proposed AFC Monitoring forms.

Edgardo C. Codilla, President, RAFC Chairmen Association also presented the AFC Mandates and its Manual of Operations; and discussed its amendments for submission and final approval by the Secretary of Agriculture and the National AFC.

Participants of the summit also took the time to visit the Philippine Coconut Authority – Zamboanga Research Center in San Ramon, Zamboanga EcoZone and Free port, and the NJB Dairy Farm in Ayala.

The most pressing of all concerns of the AFC is the fund for mobilization. Mr. Benjamin Donor, the national NAFC representative and National Coordinator for region suggested that the whole Mindanao will prepare resolutions for the release of mobilization fund for the RAFC/PAFC Coordinators and this to be signed by all counterparts. Mr. Donor said that in all his capacity he will bring the concern to the higher authority.

The conduct of the summit is cooperated by the RAFC-IX Chairman Rudy Iglesias, Regional Coordinator Ms Buduriya Parawan, the City Agriculturist Office, CAFC Chair Vicente Gregorio and the Department of Agriculture. (JPA/YTA/CC/DA/PIA-ZBST)

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