BAGUIO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) - - A technology-bridge concept through the establishment of a Research Outreach Station (ROS) proposed by a local government in Mountain Province may be the answer to low farm productivity and profitability in the area.
WESTCORD CARES for ME which stands for Western Cordillera Center for Agricultural Research and Sustainable Development for Mother Earth is proposed to be situated in barangay Bunga in the municipality of Tadian in Mountain Province with a 100-hectare area potential for integrated and diversified farming system.
Tadian Mayor Anthony Wooden presented the concept of this project before members of the Economic Development Sectoral Committee (SeCom on EconDev) of the Regional Development Council for possible endorsement to the RDC Executive Committee.
Tadian is a farming community with 84 percent of the households engaged in farming producing heirloom rice, sugarcane, Arabica coffee, and highland vegetable .Major livestock raised are cattle and swine.
There is low farm productivity and profitability of farmers due to limited access to production, postharvest and irrigation facilities coupled with low technology adoption due to poor dissemination of technology. These he said are the reasons for the need to establish an ROS in the area.
Project components of the WESTCOM CARES for ME include plant and animal disease diagnostic laboratory, multipurpose processing center, multipurpose warehouse, greenhouse, nursery, composting facility, engineered sanitary landfill, high value crop production demo projects, rice, corn and root crop demo projects, livestock and fishery demo projects, edible landscaping demo projects, germplasm conservation project. These are apart from other infrastructure such as development of access road going to the site and within the center, administration office and training hall, guesthouse, and cafeteria cum souvenir shop.
Wooden said the establishment of a research and development station would cater to the needs of highland Cordillera such as Mt. Province, Benguet and Ifugao and nearby areas of the Ilocos region. The existing two ROS located in Apayao and Kalinga maintained by DA-CAR which cater to lowland Cordillera are not accessible, he added.
The P203.550 million worth proposal was approved for endorsement in the EconDevSeCom and forwarded to the Department of Agriculture-CAR.
Some members of the Secom on EconDev such as the Benguet State University and Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau offered their assistance in the realization of the project. By: Susan C. Aro (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)