TUGUEGARAO CITY: Cagayan Valley region remains to be the top producer of corn in the whole country and second in rice production, the Department of Agriculture-Region 2 (DA-2) said.
DA Regional Director Lucrecio Alviar said the region was able to harvest 1.6 million metric tons of corn, or 22.98 percent of the total rice production and 2.08 million metric tons rice production, or 12.85 percent of the total production in the country for the year.
Isabela contributed much to the corn production with 1,049,954 metric tons, followed by Cagayan province with 371,799 metric tons, Quirino with 120,967 metric tons and Nueva Vizcaya with 58,966 metric tons.
On rice, Isabela produced 1,068,275 metric tons, followed by Cagayan with 724,622 metric tons, Nueva Vizcaya with 218,446 metric tons and Quirino with 73,423 metric tons. Batanes province was not reflected in the report.
The Department of Labor and Employment-Region 2 awarded a total of P9.54-million worth of livelihood projects to 1,111 beneficiaries in 2013.
From this amount, 37 projects have been established by skilled workers, ambulant vendors, workers’ association, displaced workers and persons with disabilities, said DOLE-2 Regional Director Sixto Rodriguez.
Among the five provinces, Isabela has the most number of beneficiaries with 405, followed by Cagayan with 271, Quirino with 191, Nueva Vizcaya with 174, and Batanes with 70 recipients.
Rodriguez said the “Starter Kit” and “Negosyo sa Kariton” (Negokart) projects were among those implemented as part of the poverty alleviation thrust of the Aquino administration.
The Starter Kit contains small materials, tools and equipment for the beneficiaries to start their chosen livelihood such as cosmetology, appliance repair, hair dressing, manicure and pedicure, and plumbing, he noted.
More than P500 million in export value is expected to be generated out of rice eels (Monopterusalbus) in the region as these are now being exported by international fish trading companies to Asian countries.
Officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said rice eels were initially considered as pest fish by farmers in Region 2 but these have turned out to be valuable, bringing in an estimated of P517 million in export value from January to December this year.
The rice eel, locally known as “kiwet,” was once considered a pest by rice farmers and fishpond operators particularly in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, destroying rice paddies by burrowing in the soil, loosening its composition, and causing irrigation to leak.
Fish farmers said these eels are voracious predators feeding on frogs, snail eggs and other fish, and shrimps posing serious threat to the country’s native fishes.
Forest park initiatives
Tuguegarao has become a referral point on humidity, it being the hottest city in the country. To mitigate the situation, the city government entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the joint protection and management of 63 hectares of forestland at Namabbalan Sur by virtue of Sangguniang Panlungsod Resolution 130-2010.
The city has also completed the establishment of communal gardens as fruit-bearing seedling stations as part of the park development projects.
These, on top of liquid waste management programs being implemented, now on various stages of development.
Agriculture, being one of the factors for global warming, is likewise on top of the mitigation agenda of the city. It includes various technology transfer systems and establishment of modern farms and post-harvest facilities backed up by numerous agreements with various line agencies.
Cagayan Valley is one of the largest regions in the country in terms of land area. The towns in the provinces are relatively far from each other. The region also has coastal and island towns, which could only be reached via sea and air transportation.
Thus, the fastest and reliable means of updating and monitoring the activities, programs, projects and initiatives of every municipal local government units is through electronic communications.
The regional Development Council’s Committee on Development Information and communication is gearing toward a much improved information dissemination scheme on the various development programs and activities as strategy to reach out to the grassroots.
The regional line agency’s programs, projects, activities and initiatives benefiting the people in the region are normally disseminated through the line government agencies’ information officers and designates,
The challenge, however, is on the accuracy, reliability and regularity of the flow of information on real time. This challenge can be met squarely, though, by having conscious collaborative between among information officers at the local and regional levels.
During disasters, the system could be a mechanism to facilitate immediate rescue and response to the needs of affected families as the system will be open 24 hours to receive information and updates on various scenarios in the affected local governments and the system will pass the information to concerned agencies and to the high authorities for the needed action.