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The provincial agriculture office has urged the economic sectors of Palawan that have been directly hit by the coronavirus pandemic to consider venturing into agriculture, citing its potential growth.

Ariston Arzaga, provincial agriculturist, noted that recent events have prompted several Palaweno businessmen to look at the potential of the sector.

“Maganda rin na i-encourage natin yong development agriculture kasi maraming pupuwedeng ma-employ doon,” Arzaga said.

He pointed out corporate investments into agriculture in the southern towns of Brooke’s Point and Rizal, noting that these have created over 1,000 jobs.

“Sa Brooke’s Point, nandyan yong Cardinal (Agri Products), nandyan yong Alibra (Impex Corporation), walang problema kasi may mapupuntahan ‘yong mga tao. Sa bandang Rizal ay nandoon ang Lionheart (Agrotech), more than 1,000 ang kanilang empleyado, secured ang kabuhayan ng kanilang mamamayan,” he said.

Arzaga noted that tourism, which is one of the hardest-hit sectors of the local economy, can diversify into agricultural ventures.

“I-encourage natin ang development agriculture para may mapuntahan yong mga nawala sa tourism sector,” he urged policymakers.

Arzaga also encouraged municipalities to help promote agricultural ventures in their localities by appropriating budgets.

“Sa organic agriculture, hinihimok ang ating mga local government na five percent ng budget ay ilaan doon,” he said.

He cited, in particular, the potential of corn production as a business venture.

“Halos dati walang pumapansin sa mais, dati ilan-ilan lang, 100 bags, 200 bags, alam niyo ba ngayon na ang naikalat na natin para makapagtanim sila, ngayon ay nasa 1, 250 bags para makapagtanim sila. Halos lahat ay pumupunta sa agriculture, napakaganda ng pagkakataon,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.