Infra Key to Oro’s Upland Agri Development

Apr 3, 2014

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The city government of Cagayan de Oro has started a series of investment promotion projects aimed at maximizing the agriculture and agribusiness potentials of the city’s hinterland barangays.

 

“Cagayan de Oro is the most prominent market center and trading hub of Northern Mindanao. Products from within the city and surrounding provinces are assembled and consolidated for distribution to other parts of Mindanao, Cebu and the Visayas, and Manila and other parts of Luzon,” said Dr. Hector R. San Juan, city agriculturist and overseer of the city veterinary office.

 

City Agriculturist Hector San Juan presents the Status, Direction and Investment Potential of Agriculture in CDO

“Vegetables, for example, produced in Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental are consolidated here and reach market centers in the Zamboanga Peninsula such as Pagadian City, Ipil, Dipolog and Zamboanga cities,” he added.

 

To get the ball rolling, the city hosted an Agri Business Forum held March 20, 2014 at the VIP Hotel where farmers and businessmen were presented with possible agribusiness ventures such as plantations for Oil Palm, Arabica and Robusta coffee and Cassava.

 

“This local forum is an offshoot of the CDO Business and Investment Forum held last February 12, 2014 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manila where we presented the city’s competitive advantages and business potentials,” said Eileen E. San Juan, Local Economic and Investment Promotions Officer (LEIPO). “Considering the strategic advantage of Cagayan de Oro, the city is the main driver for economic and inclusive growth in Northern Mindanao.”

 

LEIPO Eileen San Juan stresses FMRs are the key to agri development in CDO's rural bgys

Recent studies made through INVEST Project identified agriculture and agribusiness among the key opportunities which would enhance the competitive position of Cagayan de Oro in the future. Others include Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Tourism and Logistics.

 

The National Competitiveness Council officially acknowledged Cagayan de Oro as the Philippines Most Competitive City in 2013, in a report published earlier this year.

 

According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region X Office, due mostly to the dynamism of Cagayan de Oro’s economy, Region X remains the fastest growing economy in Mindanao, averaging an annual growth rate of 5.8 percent for the last 10 years.

Fastest Growing Economy in Mindanao

It is the runaway domestic trade leader in Mindanao, its PhP 57.9-billion (2010) accounting for 11.3 percent contribution to the Philippines (Commodity Flow, NSO) and the leading agriculture producer in Mindanao for the period 2010-2012 (National Accounts, NSCB).

 

Domestic Trade Leader in Mindanao and 2nd Highest in PH

“It is the largest producer of pineapple in the country, the second largest producer of bananas and corn, the third largest producer of coconut and chicken, its fourth largest producer of cattle, its fifth largest producer of swine and the ninth largest producer of palay,” noted NEDA-X Regional Director Leon Dacanay, Jr. in a presentation during the 2nd Cagayan de Oro Business and Investment Conference late last year. 

Region X Top Agri Producer in Mindanao

 

Of the city’s 57,851 hectares (has.) total land area, some 20,826 has. or 36 percent is agricultural, devoted to commercial and food crops like rice, corn, vegetables, abaca, banana, cacao, coffee, root crops, fruits and nuts.

 

“Unfortunately, given our considerable agricultural area and strategic market advantages, our agribusiness potential has been largely untapped,” said Dr. San Juan.  “The majority of farmers are still farming on subsistence levels. Many are forced to engage in practices that are destructive to our environment, for their livelihood and survival.”

 

“To stimulate agricultural development, the City Government of Cagayan de Oro is committed to establish and upgrade farm-to-market roads (FMRs) to all agricultural communities in the city,” Dr. San Juan added. “This is a basic infrastructure program we cannot do without.”

 

In partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the city government will be constructing P165 million worth of FMRs in 16 of the city’s rural barangays of which 10 percent or P15,242,000.00 million will be the LGU’s counterpart fund to the DA’s P150 million.

 

City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno said although the latter amount was already included in the budget submitted to his the City Council earlier this year, but has not yet been acted upon by the SP to date.

 

Mayor Oscar Moreno addresses the audience during the March 20 Agri Business Forum held at VIP Hotel

“We are optimistic that having presented several opportunities for agri investments, this would help open and develop the city’s hinterland barangays which have long been neglected of its potentials,” Ms. San Juan said. “Instead, these areas have turned into irresponsible logging and mining operations.”

 

“We are hopeful that having presented alternatives, we can make these areas and communities more productive and sustainable. When we talk of agriculture, we talk of accessibility, thus, the role of local government to put in place FMRs,” she added.

 

“Under Mayor Moreno’s administration, you can be assured that the promise of farm to market roads will be achieved, and we’re hopeful that our City Council will have the good judgment of supporting these initiatives for Cagayan de Oro’s future economic and inclusive growth.”

 

 

-INDNJC-

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