Unleash north Luzon’s agri potential, Dar tells govt
Former agriculture secretary William Dar said the government can lift more people out of poverty by developing northern Luzon’s agriculture and fishery industries.
The Philippine News Agency quoted Dar as saying that unleashing the potentials of northern Luzon would “create more livelihood and employment opportunities, increasing the incomes of farm families, and lifting most of them from poverty.”
Dar said government must pursue a shift from mono-cropping to diversification and multiple cropping, intensify production and mechanization in irrigated rice areas, and transform less productive upland and rain-fed lowland areas into farms that will produce high-value vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, coffee, oil palm, rubber, cacao and hybrid coconuts.
He said the initiatives should be complemented with investments in infrastructure and transportation.
He said the movement of farm products to local and export markets are better with the extension of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to Pangasinan via La Union through Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEx) and Clark International Airport augmenting the Laoag International Airport.
He also said the Tuguegarao airport and Sta. Ana Port could be turned into an international airport and seaport, respectively.