In line with the target of the Duterte administration to free two million fisherfolks from poverty by 2022, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol visited the province of Zamboanga to turn over some P10.67 million worth of agri-fishery assistance.
“The carrageenan industry has a huge potential here in the Philippines,” said Piñol during the “Tapatan: Govierno y Communidad” held in Zamboanga City.
Piñol announced that he received a call from the French ambassador that buyers from France have expressed interests to buy seaweeds from the Philippines.
The province was also awarded 50 units of fiberglass bancas, seaweed farm input materials & post-harvest equipment designed to improve production and benefit some 50 fisherfolk associations and 310 individual fishermen.
Members of the rice, corn and rubber industry also received interventions from DA which include hybrid rice and corn seeds, rubber seedlings, mechanical corn sheller, corn hammer mill, and pump irrigation sets.
During the visit, Piñol learned that out of the 1,000 hectares of farmlands in Zamboanga, only 300 hectares are irrigated.
Piñol vowed to provide one-unit water pump per five-hectare fare, on top of solar water pump, which has the capacity to pump 400 gallons of water per minute, to be distributed in the same areas.
“We are here as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s response to your concern regarding cocolisap which have already affected three million coconut trees” he said.
Piñol said the President instructed him to help save the P2.2 billion coconut industry in the province.
Cocolisap-infected trees will be treated using a Philippine Coconut Authority recommended chemical solution that will be induced through trunk injection and root absorption.