North Cotabato holds regional rubber confab-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
KORONADAL, South Cotabato -- The Provincial Government of North Cotabato is hopeful that the rubber industry in the region will be given prominence, as it led the just concluded regional rubber forum here.
Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza said the regional rubber forum, held at the state-run University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato on Monday, was geared toward promoting the Soccsksargen’s rubber sector where the province is the front-runner.
Soccsksargen covers the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.
Discussions featured presentations from the Department of Agriculture’s High Value Crops Development Program as well as industry updates and latest technologies and updates on the province’s rubber production.
Issues affecting the rubber industry, particularly concerns over the prices of raw rubber products and other marketing problems were also deliberated.
Mendoza said the Provincial Government led the event to be able to determine programs that they could provide to support the sector while addressing the primary concern of the rubber farmers, including the low buying price of rubber cup lumps.
With rubber as a major crop of the province, the governor explained, it should remain a high income generating commodity, especially for local farmers.
North Cotabato has more than 55,000 hectares of land planted with rubber, making it the number one rubber producing province in Soccsksargen.
Meanwhile, the region ranked second in the country in terms of rubber production. In 2011, Soccsksargen produced 157,701.56 metric tons.
As a priority high-value crop, rubber has found itself with high potential for substantial income among rubber planters, tappers and the rest.
In fact, rubber production has become a priority or even considered as flagship programs of some local governments in North Cotabato, according to Mendoza.
For years, the Provincial Government has implemented various programs for rubber farmers to further enhance their production and earn better revenues.
But with the concerns faced by rubber farmers today, such as the relatively low buying price in the market and the alleged dictation in the price of rubber, the governor is optimistic that this upcoming forum can help address the issues.
There is a high demand in rubber cup lumps in neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Thus, the Province is aiming to be one of the suppliers. (PNA)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 21, 2013.