Climaco supports DA’s ‘Bhoochetana’ program PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 February 2014 17:53

Citing the importance of soil in agricultural productivity, Mayor Beng Climaco rallied behind the “Bhoochetana” Yamang Lupa Program which the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched here yesterday morning in a bid to boost farm yields.

In her welcome remarks, Mayor Climaco cited the need for all stakeholders in agriculture and fishery, including the academe sector to support the program geared towards making our soil or land healthy and productive.

“I feel very sad every time we hear stories about the Philippines lagging behind in terms of agriculture even as we know the Filipinos have something that other countries do not have and that is the insight and the technology in making use of our soil,” the lady chief executive said.

“We lag behind because we do not have much support from the national government and the prioritization is not really fully implemented. We hope each and every one of us will take the challenge of making our land and other resources like fishery productive,” she added.

She cited the case of seaweed farming and industry which abounds in the Philippines, including the city, but other countries are monopolizing the market. “Sad to say it is the Filipino fisherfolk, the Filipino farmers who have knowledge of this,” she lamented.

Climaco was hopeful the so-called Bhoochetana program, which is patterned from Indonesia, will be successful in improving the region’s agricultural productivity.

The term “Bhoochetana” means “reviving the soil.” It gave birth to the Pananariwa ng Lupa Program: Bhoochetana Principles and Approach for Natural Resources Management in Boosting Agricultural Productivity in the Philippines.

Then program aims to improve rural livelihoods by developing resilient rainfed agriculture for sustainable real growth and inclusive development.

Its general objective is to adopt the Bhoochetana principles and approach in strategic rainfed areas of the Philippines to improve rural livelihoods by increasing productivity of selected crops in the pilot provinces though sustainable intensification and market-led diversification of systems that would result in an increase in farmers’ income by 20% in three years.

The program will be implemented in three pilot provinces, namely; Region 4-A, Region 8 and Region 9, particularly in the municipality of R.T. Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Though Zamboanga City is not a pilot area for the program, however, DA Assistant Regional Director Peter Andalahao said the launching activity was conducted here to prove that Zamboanga is a peaceful city notwithstanding the September siege.

The program’s implementing and collaborating institutions include the DA Regional Field Offices in the pilot areas, the State Universities and Colleges or Western Mindanao State University’s College of Agriculture for Region 9, the local government units, Bureau of Soil and Water Management, Bureau of Plant Industry, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), farmers’ groups, private sectors and non-government organizations. — Vic Larato