LAOAG CITY (September 15) – Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos has refuted claims of some local officials that she was not giving much attention to the agriculture sector saying that her program in agriculture focuses on the promotion of high value crops in the province.
She said that she had directed the Provincial Agriculture Office to expand the campaign on organic farming and the propagation of high-value and high-yielding vegetable crops that demand higher price in the local market.
To achieve this goal, however, she said that irrigation canals must be repaired and expanded.
Marcos revealed that current record shows that, out of the 63% irrigated areas in the province, only 21% are planted with hybrid rice variety. This is a low percentage, she said, compared to other provinces, which prioritize high value crops.
She stressed that what is needed is to see to it that the 63% irrigated areas are to be planted with either hybrid rice variety or high value crops.
Although there are farmers who are reluctant to plant high value crops, Marcos said she is optimistic that they will slowly accept it if they will see the yields.
Provincial board member Domingo Ambrosio, committee on agriculture chair; said the governor’s concern on agriculture is the immediate creation of the zanjera desk at the provincial capitol.
The desk, he said, will tackle all farmers’ problems on agriculture and find immediate solution.
He assured that every request of zanjera groups on the use of backhoes and other equipment to be used for the repair of damaged irrigation canals would be given priorities by the governor.
More so, the provincial government is committed in giving support to farmers with the provision of subsidy on fertilizers, seeds and farm inputs, he stressed.