Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica of the Sugar Regulatory Administration urged sugarcane industry stakeholders, especially farmers, to look beyond sugar prices and instead innovate on how to bring down the cost of production while strategically increasing productivity.
“The only way to go is farm mechanization," he said.
Serafica, who graced the recent turnover ceremony for the soils laboratory and automated weather station projects funded under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act at the L opez Mill District Development Council Inc. in Sagay City, Negros Occidental, said the farmers must avail themselves of MDDC facilities bankrolled under SIDA.
Farmers must be scientific especially in the fertilizer requirement in their soil. They need to be guided to prevent waste of money and leeching on applied fertilizers, stressed Serafica, who was with Sugar Board millers' representative Roland Beltran and MDDC officers, led by I srael Telis and Marty Carmona, at the turnover ceremony and blessing of the MDDC training center.
A micro laboratory for high-yielding varieties, with equipment, will also be operational soon at the MDDC, a press release from SRA said.
Serafica told the farmers that the thrust of SRA is to be competitive, bring down the cost of production and increase productivity so that whatever happens to sugar prices, they can still make profit.
SRA, through SIDA, is doing its best to cascade down to the farmers, through the MDDC as conduit, technical support and extension services as well as other productivity support programs such as farm to mill roads, scholarship, high-yielding varieties, research and development, farm management trainings, and start-up capital and machineries for the block farms, the press release added.
Serafica said all these efforts of SRA are in line with the vision of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to make small farmers as service providers or “agripreneurs”.
SRA will continue to innovate new ideas to ensure that the Philippine sugarcane industry is competitive, and to encourage more consumption of locally-produced sugar by industrial consumers to support the growth of the industry, Serafica stressed.*
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