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DA-VIII turns over Chemicals, Fertilizers & Veggie Seeds to LGU-Mahaplag

Tacloban City
August 2003


The havoc caused by the virulent Abaca Bunchy Top or 'ogpong' has grown widespread that it has dramatically crippled the focal source of livelihood among many farmers in Mahaplag, Leyte.

Hence, the Abaca Rehab Information Caravan-Evaluation Conference held recently in Mahaplag stressed other strategies to implement in order to supplant demands for more positive measures to purge this pressing problem. This activity formally closed the information caravan conducted from April 24 to May 20, 2003 which was spearheaded by the Leyte Abaca Development Council (LADC) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture-VIII.

Governor Remedios L. Petilla revealed that while she is proud that Leyte, particularly Mahaplag, is the country's leading producer of the finest abaca, she is the same time saddened because of this plague besetting the region's abaca industry.

Significantly, during the Information Caravan-Evaluation Conference, it was recommended that farmers occupying areas gravely affected by the Abaca Bunchy Top should change their crop. while those at the buffer zone should search for a safe crop replacement. Plant quarantine should be imposed in Mahaplag along with the other infected areas in Southern Leyte. Governor Petilla exhorted abaca farmers to venture into vegetable production as an alternative livelihood as she vowed to backstop this problem.

The Conference highlighted the Department of Agriculture-VIII's turnover of several boxes of chemicals for abaca disease eradication, as well as fertilizers and vegetable seeds in support to the alternative livelihood of the abaca  farmers, Representing DA-VIII's Regional Executive Director Leo P. Caņeda was Engineer Danilo Palang, chief of Operations Division and regional program coordinator for High Value Commercial Crops, who officially handed over all the agricultural goodies to the Municipal Local Government Unit of Mahaplag through Mayor Violeta Landia.

The greatly - affected cluster barangays where the 10-day Abaca Rehab Information Caravan was conducted were Mahaplag poblacion, Hiluctogan, Union and Mabunga, Pinamunoan, Polahongon, Sitio Cagano, Mabuhay and Mahayahay, Malinao, San Juan and Maligaya, Himamara and Hinaguimitan, and Hilusig.

Gracing the affair were Leyte 5th District Representative Carmer L. Cari, Mahaplag town officials, barangay chairmen, DA-RFU VIII officials and heads of the attached bureaus and member-agencies of the Leyte Abaca Development Council.





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