SRA eyes formation of sugarcane farmers’ cooperatives
MANILA, Philippines — Newly appointed Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) acting chief Pablo Luis Azcona on Wednesday said the goal of his agency is to consolidate the programs for sugarcane farmers and form cooperatives.
Azcona explained 90 percent of the farming industry is fragmented into owning separate parcels of land measuring one to two hectares each.
“Yung effort po natin ngayon is to consolidate more farmers to cooperatives po, maybe 30 to 40 hectares. That way po, pwede sila bigyan ng equipment. Pwede natin sila tulungan ng technology, kasi efficient na po sila at that size,” Azcona said in the Laging Handa public hearing.
(Our effort now is to consolidate more farmers to form cooperatives, maybe 30 to 40 hectares. That way, we can give them equipment, and we can help them with technology because it’s efficient at that size.)
He added large-scale farming cannot be used on small patches of land.
“Kung one to two hectares po tayo, bumabalik po tayo sa kalabaw. Kung nag-one to two hectares tayo, di natin kaya yung traktura po,” said Azcona.
(If we have one to two hectares, we go back to the carabao. If we go one to two hectares, we can’t do it with tractors.)
Azcona also said SRA is focused on improving sugar production.
He said the agency seeks to guarantee the timely production of sugarcane, to maximize the production of these plants.