As the Covid-19 pandemic is halting the development of Pudtol in Apayao as a tourism destination, the local government unit, with support of various government offices continuously provides support to enhance the town’s agriculture.
Pudtol Mayor Hector Reuel Pascua said several projects have been launched in the municipality to empower farmers and develop their skills and gain knowledge not only in farming but also in other aspects.
Recently, the Department of Agriculture through the Agricultural Training Institute launched the Village Learning Site for Corn Production in Barangay Cacalaggan in Pudtol.
“Sa corn mayroon tayong bagong proyekto ng Department of Agriculture, iyun ‘yung value chain project modality na hindi lamang po pananim ang binibigay ng DA, hindi na lang po seedlings at iba pang pang-farming pero nagfo-focus na din sa aspeto ng marketing at product processing,” Pascua said during the Network Briefing News online program on Dec. 14.
Pascua said Pudtol was identified as one of the pilot areas for the project along with Pidigan in Abra and Alfonso Lista in Ifugao.
The project beneficiaries would complete the value chain project modality where a beneficiary caters to farm improvement for corn production, another to corn by-product processing, another for marketing, one for holding area for continuing education and another for integrated farming effecting the village learning site as a whole.
Pascua lauded the DA for the new project which he said would be very helpful for corn farmers to continually produce corn which could be processed for more by products and sold for additional earnings.
The DA also turned over recently a hauling truck to the Samahang Nayon ng Apayao Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc. (Sanafia Inc.) under the Rice Banner Program Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service Division funds.
Pascua added the municipality has developed a “pinakbet farm” learning site for their farmers to learn the proper production of lowland vegetables such as eggplant, string beans, okra, and other vegetables.
Farmers from others areas can visit the farm and learn their best practices on planting and producing lowland vegetables.
Pascua added the LGU has been providing support to pineapple farmers as the town is known for its sweet pineapples.
They are now working out the production of fiber from pineapple leaves.
“Inumpisahan na din nating humingi at mag-procure ng machines para sa mga farmers organizations para sa production ng fibers mula sa pinya at ongoing ang development nito,” he said.
The mayor thanked the DA for the various support to the local farmers who continue to produce food for the people amidst the pandemic. He also assured the LGU’s unceasing support to all farmers and farming activities recognizing that the economic backbone of the municipality is still agriculture. – Redjie M. Cawis