100 North Cotabato barangays to have rubber nurseries

This was announced Thursday by Department of Agriculture Secretary Domingo
Panganiban during the formal launching of the national rubber development program (NRDP) at the provincial gymnasium at Amas, Kidapawan City.

“We will also put up a clonal garden as source of budwood for the multiplication of more rubber clones,” he said.

The 15-year rubber development program forms part of the 10-point agenda of President Gloria Arroyo which includes among others the creation of more jobs for people and the development of new agri-business lands, Panganiban added.

NRDP aims to expand the hectarage of rubber plantations in the country to 1 million by 2016 from its current area of 81,925 hectares, which would eventually create one million jobs.

The program also aims to increase the production and exports of natural rubber to $960 million, produce 500 million trees for carbon sequestration, and P250 billion annual revenue on real property tax.    

Part of the launching was the unveiling of NRDP Park and the ceremonial planting of rubber trees led by Panganiban and Governor Emmanuel Piñol.

A total of 204 rubber seedlings were planted at the park which symbolizes the unified efforts of key stakeholders in the rubber industry.

Panganiban also graced the inauguration Friday of the first modern corn processing complex and training center in Central Mindanao at Osias, Kabacan.

The plant is a joint project of the Department of Agriculture through the National Agribusiness Corporation and the provincial government. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)