LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Governor Amado ‘Pogi’ I. Espino, III seeks to mobilize further the agricultural development thrust of the provincial government in partnership with key players of the agriculture sector to attain the ‘agro-industrial enterprise status’ of Pangasinan.
Stressing this in his first 100 days report which he delivered at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) session hall recently, Governor Espino bared his vision to utilize the vast natural resources and the rich reservoir of skilled manpower of the province to set the pace of agro-industrial development.
“With organized effort, the correct package of technologies, financing schemes, post-harvest and manufacturing facilities and proper marketing strategies, our farmers can graduate from being mere tenants and traditional farmers to become agri-business entrepreneurs, and our farmers groups from mere cooperatives to become cooperative enterprises,” Governor Espino, an entrepreneurship graduate, said.
Expressing high hopes to launch the said flagship program designed to transform Pangasinan into a major agro-industrial hub in Northern Luzon, the provincial chief executive thanked town and city executives, sectoral leaders, line agencies of the government, non-government associations and all Pangasinenses for propping up the shared mission and strategic goals for the province.
Governor Espino likewise assured all-out support to farmers in Pangasinan and vowed to maintain the various agricultural development – oriented programs initiated by his predecessor, former Pangasinan Governor and now 5th District Representative Amado T. Espino, Jr.
The provincial administration through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) has plowed in a sizeable amount of the provincial budget intended for agricultural development which has already given rise to the following construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure and support facilities since Governor ‘Pogi’ assumed his office: 3 communal irrigation systems covering a basic area of 290 hectares, 29 shallow tube well irrigation projects which has already irrigated 2,500 more hectares of farmland, and 146 kilometers of roads and 367 meters of bridges.
Other implemented agri projects include: 1 fish farm project to level up fish production, 3 livelihood trainings which benefitted 137 farming communities, organization of the Pangasinan Onion Growers’ Association composed of 12 onion-growing towns/city, and reorganization of the Pangasinan Cacao and Coffee Growers’ Association with 35 member groups, as well as the Pangasinan Agriculture and Fishery Council.
Aside from the inclusion of farmers to the Livelihood Assistance Program of the province, Governor Espino has also vowed to continue the farm input assistance program initiated by the previous provincial administration to support farming communities.
Farm inputs given to farmers’ groups include seedlings of fruit-bearing trees, tilapia fingerlings, subsidized certified seeds, fertilizers, gill nets and farming machineries.
By Dexter A. See