GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 February)– Sultan Kudarat province generated a total of P762.94 million worth of investments last year as the area’s business prospects remain attractive to investors, an official said.
Nelly Nita Dillera, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Sultan Kudarat provincial director, said the recorded investments in the province in 2012 increased by P192.33 million or about 25 percent compared to the previous year.
In 2011, she said the entire province attracted a total of P570.61 million worth of investments from micro to large-scale ventures.
Dillera said the major investments that entered the area last year were the expansions in coffee, palm oil, rubber and banana plantations; muscovado and oil palm processing; and bangus production.
In 2012, she said Kenram Industries Development, Inc. started the development of a 60-ton per hour processing mill to address the daily queuing of oil palm delivery trucks in front of its plant in Isulan town.
The company is targeting the completion of the initial 30-ton per hour mill by June while the remaining 30-ton per hour mill will be due for commercial operations in two years, she said.
Dillera said four new modern muscovado processing plants were also established last year in Lambayong and Isulan towns.
She said such development established the province of Sultan Kudarat as the country’s “leader” in muscovado production at a combined capacity of 600 tons per month.
The official said the preparatory activities for the expansion in the area of the banana plantations of Lapanday and Del Monte Philippines were completed last year.
She said top executives of Del Monte based in the United States and Hong Kong visited the province last December to reiterate their interest on investing in Sultan Kudarat.
“The company is initially planning to open a 1,000-hectare banana plantation,” she said.
In the coastal municipalities of Lebak and Kalamansig, Dillera said additional investments were infused by local fisherfolk in bangus (milkfish) production following the adoption of a new technology introduced by the Sarangani province-based Alson’s Aquaculture Corporation.
The Alcantara-led company, which is a known leader in bangus production, tied up with the local fisherfolk for the production, processing and marketing of export quality bangus.
“The series of investment forum, investment matching and consultancies conducted by various government agencies along with the support extended by the local government units paved the way for these expansions and new investments,” Dillera said.
For this year, she said DTI will focus its assistance in further developing the area’s existing and emerging industries that includes coffee, palm oil, banana, rubber, coconut, muscovado, bamboo, calamansi, bangus, pangasius, handicraft, tourism and renewable energy. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)