The Negros Occidental provincial government is preparing to implement the Negros First Provincial Agriculture Development Program (Negros First PADP), to boost its diversification program and break away from the sugarcane monocrop.
A statement from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist quoted Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. as saying that many Negrenses are already suffering from the impact of the sugar crisis. With this program, the province aims to enhance the productivity of farmers by producing other crops apart from sugarcane.
In the statement, he also highlighted a move to adopt sugar liberalization that is expected to be enacted as law this year, and will result to lifting sugar importation limits and modify, or even abolish, the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
“We have been pummeled long enough and this is another blow that will bleed the sugar industry dry,” Marañon said, adding “We have to do better and work vigorously with more energy and gumption”.
He said that this Negros First PADP is an organized diversification campaign that will enhance productivity, modernize practices, and develop a range of market competitive and economically viable agri-fisheries-livestock and poultry commodities.
To start the program, Marañon said an agriculture summit will be held on Jan. 31 at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City that will hear insights and suggestions for its formulation.
The program theme is “Redefining the Negros Rural Landscape: Negros First Transformative Agriculture Summit”.
Among the outputs expected is a state of the industry report for every commodity, a Negros First PADP strategic framework, broad strokes of the plan with results based on terms of implementation, and investment proposals on various investible projects or commodities.*
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