Sugar firm offers planting scheme to residents

Representatives of the Cotabato Sugar Central Corporation (Cosuceco) visited Barangay Patot, in Pigcawayan town to meet the Iranun farmers and explain the benefits to those who want to venture in planting sugarcane.

The Cosuceco has promised financial support, through the plant-now-pay-later scheme of the provincial government.

Under the program, the Cosuceco allows interested farmers to avail of a maximum loan of P30,000 cash per hectare to purchase planting materials. The amount would also cover the purchase of farm inputs, land preparation using the Cosuceco land tractor, and including the labor cost.

According to Pigcawayan Mayor Herminio Roquero, loans would be paid to Cosuceco and would be deducted from the gross income of farmers once they sell their sugarcane to the company after harvest.

Roquero said majority of the Iranun farmers in Barangay Patot already expressed interest in planting sugarcane in their lands, which are mostly idle.

The provincial government and the Pigcawayan municipal government have supported the Cosuceco’s sugarcane expansion program.

Gov. Emmanuel Pinol visited Barangay Patot on Thursday and asked the Iranun farmers to convince their fellow Moro neighbors to participate in Cosuceco’s program. Piñol has explained to the Iranuns and other Moro farmers in Barangay Patot that development projects “have transformed the lives of former fighters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the assistance of the MALMAR social fund especially in planting oil palm”.

Barangay Patot was once abandoned due to the war in the 1970’s. (Williamor A. Magbanua/MindaNews)