29 May 2021– At the last day of the two-day visit in the Ilocos Region, Secretary William D. Dar in his talk, Saturday, at the turn over ceremony for various agricultural inputs and machineries in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur said that the Department of Agriculture needs partnerships at the local level in order to succeed.

“The agriculture sector will not thrive with just DA alone. In order to succeed, you have to work with various partners,” said Secretary Dar.
Sec. Dar highlighted his plans to strengthen the goat, coconut, and egg production in the Ilocos region, including the revitalization of the sea urchin industry as well as the tilapia and bangus hatchery in partnership with the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College, Philippine Coconut Industry, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur, and other stakeholders.

With the ongoing implementation of the DA project- Innovative Family Enterprise Development (IFED) on chicken production, monitoring reports showed that beneficiaries are already harvesting eggs for their own household consumption and retailing in the market.

“The plan is that, pilot barangays for this project will be expanded and we’ll make Sta. Maria an egg basket of Ilocos Sur,” he added.

As for goat production, DA has partnered with ISPSC for the establishment of multiplier farm. Once fully operational, farmers interested on goat raising are expected to benefit on this project.

Efforts to revitalize the coconut industry in the region has also started in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority and ISPSC.

“Coconut production is usually seen near the seashore when we can actually plant in the highland areas. During this rainy season, we can already distribute planting materials and plant more coconuts,” he shared.
Dar has also mentioned of the ongoing clinical trials for the African Swine Fever vaccine.

“This April, we already had an agreement with the US Department of Agriculture with a private sector manufacturing vaccine. We are testing two vaccines in ten commercial farms,” he said.

Clinical trials will be observed in the next 80 days.

“If results are found effective, we will see to it that we will move and give hundred percent support. We will vaccinate all the hogs both in the backyard and commercial farms,” he added.

As of January, PSA has reported that the total swine inventory was at 9.72 million. Another one million is expected to augment the hog population with the ongoing repopulation efforts of DA.

Sec. Dar after his visit in the province of Pangasinan, was in Ilocos Sur for a site visit in the ongoing DA projects in the municipalities of Sta. Maria, San Juan, and Caoayan.

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