Cotabato hosts 1st rubber forum; cartel among agenda-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- The Provincial Government of North Cotabato will hold the first regional rubber forum for Central Mindanao today (Monday), discussing among other things issues on the perceived cartels, which allegedly manipulate rubber prices.
Earlier, an association of farmers in North Cotabato said traders are controlling the movement of prices of processed rubber.
Also during the forum, stakeholders will discuss prospects on marketing the product abroad.
The forum, which will be held at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, will take place a day before the kick-off of the 10-day Kalivungan Festival, which is part of the province's 99th founding anniversary celebrations.
Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talinio-Mendoza said there is a need for farmers and other stakeholders to discuss issues on rubber, as there is big demand for processed rubber in the global market.
Mendoza said they want rubber farmers in the province to have access to buyers that can pay them the right prices for their products.
The Provincial Government's vision for its rubber industry is for North Cotabato to become number producer and exporter of natural rubber-based products in Central Mindanao in 2020.
To achieve this goal, Mendoza wants to promote and develop a globally competitive industry, which aims at achieving increased production areas, farmer's income and competitive production, post harvest and marketing system.
The Provincial Government chose rubber because it has many comparative advantages in production as compared to other crops.
Rubber can also be inter-cropped with other crops, including livestock.
The province, as compared to other rubber producing countries, also has an edge in terms of its fertile soil, favorable climate, work force, and access to international market.
Data from the Provincial Government showed that 32,066.79 hectares of lot are planted to rubber maintained by at least 2,537 rubber farmers.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 19, 2013.