5-M ha set aside for upland farming
() - May 14, 2006 - 12:00am
President Arroyo approved recently a proposal to release five million hectares for upland farming by upland dwellers and other interested investors. These include denuded public lands of the forest domain and watersheds for tree planting.

A possible crop for upland farming is cashew which is a multibillion dollar export crop. Australia alone imports $400 million worth of cashew a year. Mango and mangosteen are also both export winners that could easily grow in the uplands even by absentee farmers.

Coffee is now also short of supply in the domestic market.

The other upland crop that is now the talk of the town is the planting of jathropa, a biodiesel plant that can grow even in drought-prone areas of the country. The country needs at least 480,000 hectares to be able to achieve a two-percent blend on diesel consumption per year.

To enable those interested to have farms of their own in public lands, the Kapisanan ng Magsasaka, Mangingisda at Manggagawa ng Pilipinas Inc. (KaMMMPi) an agro-forest based farmers federation through its Center for Research, Planning and Strategic Studies recently announced the resumption of its agroforestry initiatives seminar series on May 15. The fee will be P2,000 per person with 10-percent discount for early payment for a whole day seminar. Those interested may contact Ms. Jing Domingo, at 928-87-41 L- 2407 or cellphone no. 0921-2166-505.

A tie-up with upland farmers to create more jobs and insure profits will also be discussed by experts during the seminar.

CROP FARMERS KAPISANAN MAGSASAKA MANGGAGAWA MANGINGISDA MS. JING DOMINGO PILIPINAS INC PLANNING AND STRATEGIC STUDIES PRESIDENT ARROYO UPLAND
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