The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be focusing on three major priorities – technology, financing and marketing.
Piñol stressed this during the farmers and fishers forum held in Mariveles, Bataan.
The Agriculture Secretary, who assumed his post less than a year ago, has been going around the country campaigning for the advancement of Philippine agriculture through the aforementioned components.
In Bataan, he announced that he would direct the development of a program which aims to improve the production of mango.
“I will ask experts from Mindanao to come here to help you revive old trees and boost your production”, he said.
“I also met an Italian group who is offering a new technology that can prolong the shelf life of mangoes using a special wax,” he added.
“We will explore its possibilities and once developed, Bataan will be its pilot area,” he declared.
Speaking in front of agriculture stakeholders from the 11 municipalities of the province, he expressed his concern over Bataan’s deforested areas.
“Wala na kayong masyadong punongkahoy dito. If this continues, then we might encounter trouble in the future,” Piñol noted.
As such he encouraged farmers to plant more trees such as Falcata trees as part of the agro-forestry drive of the government.
The Agriculture chief added that Falcata is also a lucrative lumber used as raw material for making wooden matches, wooden pallets and boxes for food and agricultural produces. It is also used as core material for furniture, block boards, and kitchen cabinets, among others.
While in Bataan, he broke ground for the establishment of the P21-million ice plant with storage facility funded under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
Aside from this, PRDP will also be funding a custom service facilty to serve farmers’ associations and a farm-to-market road connecting Barangay San Antonio Parangand Saysayin.
On top of these, the regional office of DA turned over P113M assistance for agricultural production, postharvest, processing machinery, equipment and facilities, and irrigation facilities. BFAR also awarded a total of P24.5M fishery livelihood projects.