Provinces urged to craft master plan for agri development
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture will craft a national masterplan which will focus on environmental protection for greater food production.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the national program to be launched in May, is aimed at helping provinces craft a sustainable agricultural master plan.

“The provincial agriculture master plan will identify the key agricultural infrastructure projects needed by each province so that these could be included in the annual program planning of the DA,” he said.

“The agriculture master plan will also include aerial mapping and the updating of database of farmers and fishermen in each province,” Piñol added.

Occidental Mindoro, one of the hardest hit areas by the ongoing El Niño, is the first province to accept the offer of the DA for the crafting of an agriculture master plan.

The plan will include concerns on forest denudation and massive siltation of its rivers.

“I warned them that unless something is done about the denuded mountains and the heavily silted rivers which were already drying up, Occidental Mindoro could face an agricultural and environmental catastrophe,” Piñol said.

“Farmers themselves said the rivers are starting to dry up and that their farms are cracking up because of the lack of water,” he added.

The local government unit of Mindoro has already agreed to meet with the representatives of all sectors, especially the Mangyan Tribe, to review the agricultural, environmental and ecological condition of the province.

The agriculture master plan will focus on ensuring sustainable food production activities in the province by ensuring the availability of water.

Occidental Mindoro will hold its agriculture and environmental planning on May 27 to 28 in Tagaytay City.

When completed, it will be the first comprehensive provincial agriculture master plan crafted with the direct supervision of the DA.

The DA aim targets to complete everything before the end of Duterte’s term.

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