The Office of Provincial Agriculture (OPA) eyes further development in the production and enhancement of products made out of pineapple as the main focus of Bataraza town in the municipal commodity investment plan (MCIP).
Dr. Romeo Cabungcal said that the crafting of MCIP is in preparation for the local devolution transition plan of the provincial government of Palawan. Pineapple is the top commodity of the town as identified in ‘one town, one product.’ The town’s other primary commodities are rice, corn, coconut and dried fish.
The development of the top commodity’s potential will contribute to the improvement of farmers’ lives and the town’s economy, he added.
“Kung saan nagkaroon kami ng mga pag-uusap tungkol don sa mga priority commodities na tututukan ng bayan ng Bataraza. At ipapaloob sa municipal commodity investment plan na kinakailangan natin sa paghahanda doon sa pag-implement sa Garcia-Mandanas ruling or kasama don sa ginawa natin sa local devolution transition plan,” he said.
Some of the plans to be implemented are the expansion of plantations from barangays Tarusan and Bulalacao to other potential sites in Bataraza. The OPA will also help in the expansion of the processing of pineapple fruits to produce value-added products for the market.
According to the Municipal Agriculture Office of Bataraza, there are 237 indigenous peoples (IPs) dependent on pineapple farming on their 733 hectares of land as of 2020 data. The majority of farmers are located in Brgy. Bulalacao, with a population of 122 IPs.
Aside from Bataraza, the other towns in Palawan are also preparing their MCIPs to be finalized and presented from July 27 to 28.
Cabungcal also said that the provincial government is talking about ways to help local farmers and grow the local agriculture sector, even though farm inputs are going up.