DAET, Camarines Norte—“Magtulungan tayo na mai-rolldown ang mga plano ninyo sa mga magsasaka, mangingisda at stakeholders ng probinsiya natin (Let us help each other in rolling down the plans for the farmers, fisherfolks and stakeholders of the province),” urges Camarines Norte acting Governor Jonah G. Pimentel to the attendees of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan (AFMP) 2018-2023 Provincial Consultation on July 13, 2018 at the Prime Suite Hotel here.

The AFMP Provincial Consultation was already conducted in the provinces of Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon this month to increase participation of provincial stakeholders in the formulation of the Regional AFMP; to have a sense of ownership in the crafting of plans among farmers’ organizations, and other stakeholders; and to identify the interventions needed for commodities from invited stakeholders.

DA-Bicol Planning Officer Mary-ann Cuya said that the AFMP Consultation is important for the province’s direction towards agricultural development. With the new Philippine Development Plan and the new directives and priority projects of the government, the AFMP is deemed to be the first step in achieving Ambisyon Natin 2040 which is by year 2040, Filipinos will enjoy a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life (matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay).

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) OIC-Chief Statistical Specialist of Camarines Norte Ma. Dulce Padayao, the Gross Regional Domestic Product of Bicol Region reached to Php172.4B pesos last year. From 2015-2017, the region gained about Php17B pesos. The economic output of agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishery (AHFF) increased from Php32.9M pesos in 2016 to Php33.8M in 2017. The region’s share to the national AHFF in 2017 is only 4.6%.

In Camarines Norte, in 2017 there was an increase in volume of production of palay, corn, sweet potato, livestock and poultry, tiger prawn and seaweeds. However, there was a noted decrease in volume of production of milkfish, tilapia, roundscad, skipjack, yellowfin tuna, pineapple, calamansi, mango, banana, and cassava. Majority of the crops, livestock, poultry and fishery products increased in their farmgate prices.

DA-Bicol Planning Officer MaryAnn Cuya enumerated the following intervention types of the government which include Abattoirs, slaughterhouses, animal provision & distribution program, stock breeding facility, hatchery, AI laboratory, Bridges, Trainings, seminars, workshops, consultations, benchmarking, study tours,, Certification & accreditation activities (organic, HACCP, GAP, GMP), Common service facility, ice plants, Compliance facility or laboratory related to health & safety, Desalination facility for PWS & irrigation, establishment & registration of cooperatives, farmers & fisherfolk groups, Credit & voucher program, direct payment request, Business ventures & proposal development, Tree planting, mangrove protection, forest management, Farm implements & equipment, tractors & hand tractors, incubator, farm-to-market roads, fertilizer facility, composting facility, soil laboratory, fish landing, wharfs, fish sanctuaries, marine protected areas (MPA) facility, artificial reef, flood control activity & projects, declogging activities, cash incentives, recognition, awards, distribution of bio-control agents, fertilizer, chemicals, small equipment, Integrated pest management, Communal irrigation system, Small scale irrigation project (STW, Spring Devt, SWIP, PISOS, pumps, etc), Handicrafts, processed products, swine raising, livestock auction market, mapping and zoning, database, market linkages specifically to buyers, processors traders, exporters, Trade fairs & exhibits, investment fora, advertisement, development of IEC materials, Packaging, labeling, branding, pre-marketing activities, distribution of planting materials, seedlings, seeds, creation of policies, regulations, guidelines, standards, ports, docking facility, post harvest facility & equipment, feedmills, potable water supply (PWS) system, processing & consolidation facility, meat & dairy processing products, production and expansion areas, fishponds, forage areas, animal farms, nurseries, greenhouse, seed banks, budwood garden, botanical concoction, permitting, clearances, monitoring, enforcement, other related activities, Hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass, geothermal energy, research laboratories & facilities, gene bank, tissue culture lab, research-related studies, technical studies, surveys & assessment, Slope stabilization works, Multi-crop solar dryers (MCSD), drying pavement, platform dryer, Climate change technologies, customized machines, new crop varieties, trading post, marketing outlets, bagsakan & buying centers, retail networks, tram lines, transport vehicles, hauling facility, trucks, vaccinations, deworming, warehouses, storage facility, cold storage facility, and watch tower.

Cuya also added that they can also tap other private and non-government institutions in requesting for interventions and funding support.

During the consultation, the participants were grouped into eight commodity groups—corn and cassava, fisheries, Organic Agriculture, High-Value Crops (Pineapple, mango, cacao and Coffee), coconut, livestock and rice.

During the presentation, the present challenges of the agriculture and fisheries (AF) sector include vulnerability to climate and disaster risks; high cost of farm inputs; low farm mechanization and inadequate postharvest facilities; aging farmers and fisherfolks; poor market price; no established buyers or market; low adoption rate of new production technologies; lack of technical competence; weak organizations; and existence of pest and diseases.

More than 90 participants attended the one-day activity which include provincial and municipal agriculturists; city veterinarian; program coordinators; provincial and municipal agriculture and fisheries councils; representatives from the Department of Agriculture-Bicol (DA-Bicol), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO), Pineapple Growers Association, Camarines Norte Seed Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CANSEGMUPCO), Labo Corn Cluster, Labo Corn Producers Association, Talisay Vegetable Growers Association (TAVGA), Basud Coconut Pineapple Cooperative (BACOPICO), Bicol Hogs and Livestock Solutions MultiPurpose Cooperative, Doc Beny’s Nature Farm, and Saint Helena the Emperatriz Agricultural Cooperative.

The panel of evaluators include DA-Bicol Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division Chief Aloha Gigi Banaria, Camarines Norte Assistant Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator Thelma Bardon, Camarines Norte Provincial Agriculturist Engr, Almirante A. Abad, and Governor Pimentel. (jaysonmgonzales)