Nueva Vizcaya Governor Ruth Padilla said on Monday that the Regional Development Council (RDC) has approved the endorsement of the proposed establishment of the Philippine Citrus Development Center in Bayombong town in preparation for the coming economic integration of South East Asia in 2015.
The Center will serve as a research, training and technology-generating center. It is envisioned to produce cost effective and efficient technologies as well as studies on post-harvest handling and processing, which maybe used by small-scale farmers in the north.
Padilla said the citrus industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan Valley.
“Citrus ranks fourth among the fruit crops that have contributed greatly to the country’s economy, next to banana, mango and pineapple, thus we need to invest more in this industry,” she said.
Padilla stressed the need for the establishment of the Center as this will help farmers in their post-harvest concerns. She pointed out that a lot of the farmers’ produce still go to waste because of an inefficient hand- ling system.
The RDC earlier endorsed the passage of a bill creating the Center as introduced by House Deputy Speaker Carlos Padilla, representative of the lone district of Nueva Vizcaya.