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Freeman Region

Officials tackle tricky prices of seaweeds

Ric V. Obedencio - The Freeman

PANGLAO, BOHOL, Philippines – The Philippine Rural Development Project and the Bohol provincial government had intervened to address the manipulation of seaweed prices by unscrupulous businessmen, according to officials during the 1st World Bank Implementation Support Mission held at a resort in this town.

Director Angel Enriquez, of the Department of Agriculture-7, said the intervention could be in the form of capacitating the people’s organization or farmers, and that there were already proposals on seaweek farming submitted to the WB by Governor Edgar Chatto.

According to Provincial Board Member Gerry Garcia, farmers of Bien-Unido town, the seaweeds capital of Central Visayas, and from other seaweed-producing towns have been always at the receiving end when price war started after a foreign businessmen bought the seaweeds at a very low price.

Garcia, in a privilege speech delivered during the regular session yesterday, wanted the PB to conduct an investigation into the seaweed price manipulation, and of foreigners now competing with the residents of Hingotanan Island in the seaweed growing venture.

Garcia said he received reports from seaweed growers themselves of this island who were worried that their produce may be affected as a result of very low price tendered by buyers from abroad. The seaweeds concern is now referred to the PB committees on agriculture and trade and industry, he added.

DA Undersecretary Emerson Palad said there are tools or approaches that may be tapped for this concern, such as the Investment in Rural Enterprises and Agriculture Project, or I-REAP.

The I-REAP “supports the development, implementation and sustainability of agricultural, livestock and fishery-based entrepreneurial activities anchored on the value chain analysis of priority commodities in the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Modernization Plans reflected in the Provincial Commodity Investment Plans,” he said.

Palad added enterprise development, including packaging, to catch up with neighboring countries, is also important considering the perennial problem on marketing faced by the farmers.

CENTRAL VISAYAS

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

DIRECTOR ANGEL ENRIQUEZ

GARCIA

GOVERNOR EDGAR CHATTO

HINGOTANAN ISLAND

PHILIPPINE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AND THE BOHOL

PROVINCIAL BOARD MEMBER GERRY GARCIA

PROVINCIAL COMMODITY INVESTMENT PLANS

REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL AND FISHERY MODERNIZATION PLANS

RURAL ENTERPRISES AND AGRICULTURE PROJECT

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