Monday, June 29, 2020

DA pours P22-M into boosting rubber industry in Caraga

 THE DEPARTMENT  of Agriculture in the Caraga Region (DA-13) has granted a PHP22.1-million project package to a cooperative involved in rubber production here, optimistic about the potential of the rubber industry in Caraga Region.    
 
In a statement received on Sunday, DA-13 Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo expressed confidence the rubber industry will further boost agricultural production in the region through the provision of infrastructure and development support to the industry’s stakeholders. 
 
The DA-13, Monteagudo said, formally turned over Thursday to the Km. 7 Farmers' Producers Cooperative (KFPC) the PHP22.1-million integrated rubber production and marketing project package that will involve nursery development, seedling production and infrastructure support. 
 
“We are confident that a project like this can be handled well by a cooperative like KFPC,” he said.
 
Monteagudo said DA-13 has already seen the hard work of KFPC leaders and members as they also maintain their good reputation as a cooperative. 
 
The development of the KFPC integrated project, he added, will also benefit farmers in Caraga Region who are already into rubber farming, as well as those who want to venture into the said industry.
 
The project is under the DA’s Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP). 
 
KFPC chair Samuel Calawigan Jr. expressed gratitude to the government and DA-13 for the support they received. 
 
“This dream is now a reality. We cannot build these facilities on our own. We’re grateful that the government has responded to our needs through DA-PRDP,” Calawigan said. 
 
He added KFPC has been into the rubber industry in Caraga Region functioning as a service provider for the rubber growers in Butuan City and the other municipalities in Caraga Region. 
 
The cooperative provides inputs, tools and budded rubber planting materials for the recommended clones of rubber seedlings. 
 
In the same statement, DA-13 said PHP8.4 million from the total budget released will be used for the infrastructure component of the enterprise project. 
 
The component will include the construction of a warehouse, seedling production building, and seedbed to support cooperative members and other rubber growers in the region.
 
Nilo Calipayan, an officer of the cooperative, said they are targeting an increase of 500 hectares in rubber plantation per year and the interventions they received would help them reach the goal. 
 
“We’ve been challenged by our goal so we’ve reached out helping the rubber growers of the neighboring municipalities, and not just the cluster members here in Butuan,” he said. 
 
At present, the KFPC has a cumulative rubber planted area of around 1,400 hectares with a membership increase of 460 from 158 in the previous year, he added. 
 
Meanwhile, the DA-13 announced that aside from the PHP22.1-million project, it is also monitoring the progress of the ongoing construction of the 9.82-kilometer farm-to-market (FMR) road that will bolster the enterprising efforts of the cooperative.
 
The road project that will connect the KFPC site in Barangay Tungao to Butuan City has a total project cost of PHP158.9 million. 
 
The rubber industry in the Philippines that mainly engaged in the production of rubber cup lumps has increased its production during the period October to December 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in its major non-food and Industrial crops quarterly bulletin. 
 
Production of rubber cup lumps grew by 6.4 percent from 142.72 thousand metric tons in the same quarter of 2018 to 151.80 thousand metric tons in the last quarter last year. 
 
The PSA added that Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region posted the highest production during the period by registering 70.32 metric tons or 46.3 percent of the total national production of rubber cup lumps. 
 
This was followed by the Zamboanga Peninsula with 38.4 percent, and the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) with 6.4-percent production.
 
Caraga Region posted 2.9-percent production of rubber cum lumps during the period, it added. (By Alexander Lopez)

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