ANE-I, Claveria, Misamis Oriental – Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano led in the blessing and pledge of support ceremonial signing for the seven-hectare Misamis Oriental Agriculture Development Complex located here.
This, as Sen. Cynthia Villar – the chair of the Senate committee on agriculture – hailed the new development, saying it is timely for the usage of the facility due to the recent passage of the Coco Levy Act in Congress, waiting for signature by President Duterte into law.
Villar assured her full support of the project which was mainly courtesy of cigarette giant Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corporation.
Atty. Cancio Nicanor Guibone, PMFTC Inc. head of corporate affairs for Mindanao, said the company granted the provincial government of Misamis Oriental last October a deed of grant of usufructuary rights to use the seven-hectare facility for agricultural purposes and even build minimal structures therein.
Also on hand gracing the event last Friday (January 22) and expressing his full support to the project was Misamis Oriental first district Rep. Christian Unabia who said that usage of the facility will complement his many agricultural outreaches in his district.
According to Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee on agriculture chair Fredrick Khu, the complex – strategically located at the agricultural heartland of Misamis Oriental – will primarily be a venue for the processing of various agricultural produce in the province. “This will address value-adding needs by farmers, fisherfolk and agri-entrepreneurs and most especially, address the rampant issue of post-harvest loss,” Khu said.
Provincial agriculturist Jose Apollo Pacamalan said that the complex will be a state-of-the-art facility which would cater various food processing technologies such as drying, bottling and preservation, among others.
Moreover, a post-harvest laboratory will be present for research and development on the lengthening of shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Waxing, application of edible coating and modified atmosphere are among the processes that will be done, ensuring preservation of both pre-finished and finished products.
A nursery for the production of lettuce, bulb onion, cabbage, cacao, coffee, mulberry and different varieties of coconut will be established.
To diversify the options of farmers, the creation of an inland fish hatchery is already ongoing that when in full operational capacity could produce 500,000 fingerlings for the benefit of 300 backyard farmers.
And lastly, the most important service the complex and its facilities will give is research. On top of Pacamalan’s list are hydrophonics, expansion of the tissue culture laboratory, study on the black soldier fly, bioethanol production from cassava and face mask production using abaca.
“In this facility, let us teach farmers how to innovate so they will prosper more,” Emano said.
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