LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The provincial government under the leadership of Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III is keen on transforming Pangasinan into a major Agro-Industrial Hub in Northern Luzon.
For its initial step, a multi-sectoral technical orientation and consultative meeting with major stakeholders on the proposed People-Oriented Governance Initiative (POGI) for Agri-Industrial Development (AgriDev) of Pangasinan was conducted on October 19 at the Capitol Resort Hotel in Lingayen.
In its initial meeting, stakeholders were briefed on the framework/concept of the POGI AgriDev Pangasinan program wherein initial set of responsibilities were agreed to be handled by the different sectors as commitment of support was also manifested by each group.
Earlier, Gov. Espino in his First 100 Days Report hinted on his plan to launch his flagship program on agriculture as he noted that with organized effort, the correct package of technologies, financing schemes, post-harvest and manufacturing facilities, and proper marketing strategies, Pangasinense farmers can possibly graduate from being mere tenants and traditional farmers into agri-business entrepreneurs.
Aside from this, the Provincial chief executive disclosed that farmer groups can be transformed from mere cooperatives into cooperative enterprises which will then help the entire province become a more vibrant and progressive agro-industrial economy.
With this concept, the governor urged the participation and commitment of every sector to make his administration’s flagship program succeed.
Meanwhile, former Agriculture Secretary William Dar who now serves as the president of Inanglupa Movement, presented during the consultative meeting a report titled: Institutionalizing Partnerships in Agriculture, Rural Industrialization and Social Enterprise (ARISE) Context on ASEAN Economic Cooperation.
In his presentation, Dar outlined that although agriculture only contributed 10 percent of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product), the sector employs about 11 million of the entire labor force nationwide.
The former DA secretary likewise noted that with the country’s rural poverty incidence which posted 40 percent in 2014, the farmers, fisherfolks and the upland dwellers are considered the “poorest of the poor.”
As such, Dar stated that the high poverty incidence can be attributed to low farming productivity, limited farmland diversification, under developed agri-food manufacturing export. All three lead to low income and weak job creation, he added.
Meanwhile, the proposed POGI AgriDev Pangasinan program has three major components: production, processing, and marketing.
Matters taken up during the initial meeting include institutional development, capacity building, extension/support services, research and development, financing/networking, and marketing.
Also present during the meeting were DA Region 1 Executive Director Valentin Perdido, Board Member Liberato Villegas who chairs the committee on fishery and agriculture, some officials and representatives of various provincial offices, among others. By Dexter A. See