DA crafts long-term agriculture development plan for Negros Island Region

BACOLOD CITY, Oct. 14 (PNA) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 18 headed by regional executive director Renato Manantan is in the process of crafting a long-term regional agriculture development plan for the newly-formed Negros Island Region (NIR).

The DA interim structure for the NIR has started its transition period operation last October 1 in this city.

Manantan said Tuesday that the long-term development plan will serve as the roadmap of the DA in its pursuit of continuing development in the agriculture sector.

“The roadmap is very important for it will set the direction of the department,” Manantan said, adding that in making this development plan, the participation and involvement of all sectors and stakeholders is essential.

The roadmap will also answer pressing questions in the industry like “what is the target,” “what should be done with the products” and “how is the government’s connection with the sub-sectors,” he added.

Manatan further said the initial draft of the plan for the discussion of stakeholders should be completed before the end of 2015 thus, the DA-18 is now working on hastening the coordination among its covered departments in both provinces.

Manantan was in Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental’s southernmost town, last week for the Farmers’ Forum.

This is part of the department’s familiarization measures and collection of reports and plans from different agriculture offices from both provinces, he said.

“We are currently finding out the agriculture situation of the island,” Manantan said, adding that he is also scheduled to visit Negros Oriental next week to attend the Farm Family Congress.

By first quarter of next year, the DA should also start working on the initial 2017 budget proposal, he said.

Meanwhile, Manantan said that under the NIR, faster consolidation of plans and better communication are much feasible since the two provinces are situated in one island only.

DA-NIR’s priority programs include review of previous studies, continuation of major programs, and intervention of new ones for the betterment of the agriculture sector.

For the flourishing organic industry of the region, DA will continue what is legislated but will find what else can be done to make it better, Manantan added. (PNA)