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DA encourages coops to avail of farming programs

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The livestock industry is the only agri-business that is thriving in Cebu as the government notices only few takers of its farming interventions.

In line with this, government officials, in a forum hosted by Governor Hilario P. Davide III and the Cebu Provincial Government last Oct. 29, sought the help of the cooperatives to develop the farming sector.

The forum was organized in partnership with the Cooperative Development Authority and Cooperative National Confederation of Cooperatives (Coop Natcco).

Coop Natcco Party-list Representative Cresente Paez said the forum exposed the different interventions of the National Government to the cooperatives.

Ma. Elena Limocon, general manager of Lamac Multi-purpose Cooperative, said the forum “gave us what we exactly need from the government to help us in our ventures.”

“We are not only into lending. Aside from our other investments, we would like to also invest in high-valued crops. Luckily, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is here,” she said.

Aside from the attached bureaus of DA, the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Department of Science and Technology were also present during the forum.

Joel Elumba, DA 7 regional technical director for research and regulations, said the cooperatives are potent institutions to implement agri-programs successfully.

He believed that cooperatives are easier business partners than the local government units, as administrations change from time to time.

He informed cooperatives that the DA has support services and interventions through distribution of equipment and inputs. The commodities covered are rice, corn and cassava, high valued crops, organic farming, and livestock/poultry programs.

DA also has funds available for the construction of small-scale irrigation system. Unlike before, Elumba said the agriculture sector is prioritized by the current administration.

Wala kaayuy coop moapil aning mga programaha. I don’t know why, unya ang_ requirement ra unta is business proposal (Not many coops availed of these programs. I don’t know why when the requirement is only a business proposal),” he said.

Elumba said Central Visayas ranked second in the production of goats with Cebu as the leading producer of goats in the region.
He also stated that the egg industry in Bantayan Island now enjoys 80 percent recovery from the destruction it suffered during typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

But in the rice and corn production, he said only 30 percent are locally produced.

The growth of cooperatives ranked high in Davide’s six-key development agenda. This was formulated out of the consultations made with the various sectors of the Cebuano community, including the cooperatives and the agri-fishery sector.