Agri haven grows out from Bukidnon’s defunct tomato paste factory compound

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/15 August) – The defunct Bukidnon Economic and Industrial Zone, which houses the controversial Bukidnon Resources Company, Inc. (BRCI), a defunct tomato paste factory, is now an agriculture haven.

The economic sector of the provincial government cited the partial conversion in its accomplishments during the provincial project implementation review last week.

“BRCI open areas were developed for agricultural seed production and goat breeder farm through the implementation of the Assistance for Low Income Communities and Settlers (ALICS) Project,” said the group’s report of the workshop. The acronym ALICS is apparently patterned after Gov. Alex P. Calingasan’s name.

The sector covers the Provincial Agriculture Office, Provincial Veterinary Office, Provincial Livelihood Office, Provincial Tourism Office, Environment and Natural Resources Office, Economic and Investment Promotion Office, and civil society organizations such as the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council, and other groups.

The other sectors are infrastructure; social services including health, nutrition, and population, social welfare, community development, and education; and institutional development covering governance, financial management; revenue generation, internal audit, development planning, and information management.

The provincial government of Bukidnon is launching the ALICS program this month.

The program covers operations of a goat breeder farm, lowland and upland rice production, corn production, vermin production, nursery, fisheries, mango production, orchards and ornamentals, large animal production like cattle, and honeybee production.

The zone is located in Diklum, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Calingasan, in his inaugural speech, cited that he will prioritize agriculture and livelihood in his administration.

The livelihood program, he said, will be implemented with more impetus in additional areas of
concern. He vowed to locate a demonstration farm for seed production on palay and corn in the BRCI site.

“This way, we are able to address the need for seeds as a support to our farmers and showcase our gains in palay and corn production. Indigent farmers will be our priority in the production of these seeds,” the governor added.

He also vowed to pursue another important concern, a demonstration farm for goats, intended for dispersal to indigent families to support their livelihood activities.

MindaNews reported in September 2010, that the capitol will boost its own goat dispersal program with the scheduled opening this year of the P2.2-million goat breeder farm in Manolo Fortich town, according to a report from the Provincial Veterinary Office.

Calingasan earlier announced this would be among his projects, to address the needs of select farmers who are into goat-raising projects under the livelihood program funded by the provincial government.

Dr. Nancy V. Diez, PVO chief, said then that they have started clearing a five-hectare pasture land in Barangay Diklum in Manolo Fortich, an hectare of which is intended for the barn.

The breeder farm will also serve as a techno-demo and production farm for the local government to showcase modern organic farming technologies.

The provincial government has announced the creation of the breeding center as a source of breeding stocks to farmer-beneficiaries of the livelihood project.

It is pushing for the promotion of goat breeding as a household enterprise for additional income. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)