Small town in Northern Samar set to become agri devt model for DA
TACLOBAN CITY—A small town in Northern Samar could be uplifted from its poverty situation with the modernization of its agricultural sector.
San Roque, a fourth-class town where 12 of its 16 barangays are into palay production, has been identified by the Department of Agriculture as a model for its agricultural development program.
This early, town officials and farmers are optimistic with the program as this could help uplift the town, which has an income of P103 million in 2018.
Town Mayor Don Abalon said that once the program becomes a reality, not only the farmers would increase their buying capacity but would help the economy of San Roque, 28 km away from the provincial capital of Catarman.
“The farmers will earn more. So, they will have more buying capacity and then they can provide their basic needs,” Abalon said in a phone interview.
“And then, if there is money circulating in the local economy, there will be more businesses that will come in and more businesses, means more employment,” Abalon added.
About 4,000 families from the town’s 12 farming villages are expected to benefit from the program. The town has 16 barangays inhabited by 33,000 people.
Under the program, about 200 hectares of land devoted to palay farming will be pumped with modern farming technologies to be provided by DA, aside from the high-yielding palay seed varieties from the Philippine Rice Research Institute.
Abalon said the 200 hectares identified under the program were located in Barangay Zone3 (covering 50 hectares) and Dale (involving 115 has).
The remaining 35 has will be in Barangays Balnasan and Bantayan, he said.
Eventually, all the remaining rice farming villages of the town, which has a total of 2,700 has of land devoted to rice farming, will benefit from the program.
The model farms are also expected to provide seeds to farmers in Eastern Samar and Samar provinces.
The program is expected to start in the next quarter of this year.
Abalon said that considering that all rice fields in the town, to include the two model farms of Dale and Zone 3, are rain-feed dependent, solar-powered irrigation coming from deep-wells would be used to ensure a bounty harvest.
Currently, local farmers could harvest 80 to 90 bags of palay per hectare.
And with more interventions to be provided to the farmers under the program, they expect to increase their yield, at an average, of 115 bags per hectare.
Abalon said they were thankful to DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol for choosing their town as its model in agricultural development.
“I am not really sure why Secretary Piñol chose San Roque for this program but we are still thankful to him and to DA considering its big impact for our people,” Abalon said.
It was learned that Secretary Piñol visited the town last Jan.5 where he personally announced the plan for the agricultural development of the town./lzb
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