MULANAY, Quezon: The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing Quezon province as a major food producer given its vast coconut plantations that can be utilized for intercropping.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol visited this town on Wednesday, assuring the DA in collaboration with the provincial government headed by Governor David Suarez will make Quezon a major food production area. Piñol also led the distribution of initial government assistance to help farming families affected by the Typhoon Nina.
Piñol also assured House Minority Floor Leader and Bondoc Peninsula Rep. Danilo Suarez the DA will come up with a comprehensive agricultural and fishing development program for Quezon.
“The Agriculture Department and the province of Quezon will turn this province into one of the major food production areas of the country,” he said.
Piñol said Quezon is not far away from Metro Manila and the unutilized lands under coconut trees can be planted with various crops. The province has more than 300,000 hectares of coconut lands that have not been intercropped.
“If only 100,000 hectares of the coconut lands can be intercropped with cacao, coffee and pineapple, then farmers would not have problems with increasing their incomes,” he said in Filipino.
The Agriculture Secretary along with Justice Secretary lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre, a native of this town, Suarez and former Rep. Aleta Suarez led the distribution of assistance for farmers and fisher folk of the town initially amounting to P2.2 million that was received by acting Mayor Ponciano Rejano.
The other towns affected by the recent typhoon include San Narciso, San Andres, and San Francisco that were given a total of P8.8 million in assistance.
The other forms of assistance Piñol announced for the province include P8.55 million for rice farming, P8.3 million for high-value crop farming, P47.9 million for corn growing and other equipment including 10 multi-tillers, five tractors 20 corn shellers and 50 knapsack sprayers.
The DA also provided 400 fiberglass motorboats for the four districts of Quezon benefiting the poorest fisher folks in coastal towns.