A NATIONAL program aimed at helping provinces craft a sustainable agricultural master plan which would focus on environmental protection for greater food production will be launched next month.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that the program, which will be called Provincial Agricultural Master Plan, will also be identifying the key agricultural infrastructure projects needed by each province so that these could be included in the annual program planning of the Department of Agruiculture.
Piñol said the master plan will include Aerial Mapping and the Updating of Database of farmers and fishermen in each province.
He added that Mindoro Occidental, one of the hardest hit areas by the drought or El Niño, will be the first province to accept the offer of the DA for the crafting of an Agriculture Master Plan which will include concerns on forest denudation and massive siltation of its rivers.
Piñol related that during his Biyaheng Bukid sortie in San Jose town in Occidental Mindoro last Wednesday, he shared with Congresswoman Josephine Sato, Governor Gene Mendiola and other officials of the province the terrifying appearance of the mountains and the rivers he saw from the air.
“I warned them that unless something is done about the denuded mountains and the heavily silted rivers which were already drying up, Mindoro Occidental could face an agricultural and environmental catastrophe,” Piñol said.
Piñol added that his observation was validated by the farmers themselves who said that the rivers are starting to dry up and that their farms are cracking up because of the lack of water.
“The provincial officials agreed to my proposal to meet the representatives of all sectors, especially the Mangyan Tribe, to review the agricultural, environmental and ecological condition of the province,” Piñol added.