NegOcc eyes cooperation with Taiwan for agri devft

NEGROS Occidental officials headed by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. (7th from left) with the Taiwanese delegation led by Safe and Modern Agriculture Technology Promotion Society Adviser Dr. Wang Chun-Hsiung (6th from left) at the sidelines of the Philippine-Taiwan Agriculture Forum at the Provincial Capitol in Bacolod City Wednesday. (Richard Malihan)

THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is upbeat to boost cooperation with Taiwan particularly for the development of its agriculture sector, its top official said.

Governor Alfredo Mara?on Jr., who spoke at the Philippine-Taiwan Agriculture Forum at the Provincial Capitolfs Social Hall in Bacolod City Wednesday, said Taiwan and Negros Occidental should have a very close coordination because they have many things in common.

Mara?on said the province can also produce the agricultural crops which the foreign country grows. These include pineapples, mushrooms, and vegetables, among others.

gBut they grow it there in Taiwan in most efficient and very scientific way,h he said, adding that he hopes that they can also share their agriculture expertise to us here in Negros Occidental.E

The provincial government is optimistic to have stronger cooperation and partnership with Taiwan, the governor noted.

During the forum attended by local agriculture industry stakeholders, mostly farmers, the Taiwanese delegation presented their best practices in agriculture which can be replicated in the province.

Head of delegation Dr. Wang Chun-Hsiung, adviser of Safe and Modern Agriculture Technology Promotion Society, said they have been helping to develop young farmers in Taiwan.

Chun-Hsiung, also an expert in agriculture extension and past Agriculture Bureau Chief of Taichung City, said their national and local governments have a joint effort to support the development of young farmers in Taiwan.

Under which, the Council of Agriculture of Taiwan is allocating five million dollars or P8.5 million as credit lines to support each of the selected 100 outstanding young farmers every year.

gNurturing young farmers is now a very grave responsibility not only in Taiwan but all over the world,h he said, adding that he hope to start a good link here especially for the development of young farmers to become successful.h

Central Taiwan Agricultural Cooperative chairman Dr. Ma Yu-Ann, who also spoke at the forum, said they are pushing for sustainable development and eco-friendly farming practices like minimizing the amount of chemical fertilizer and developing biological control.

Yu-Ann showed some of their farming practices in Taiwan including the technologies they used.

He then stressed the importance of producing high quality and safe crops, using more local crops, knowing more about hard working farmers, and having a healthy life, among others.

There was a sharing and discussion of best practices of young farmers in Negros Occidental and Taiwan during the forum.

Also present were former governor and investment promotions consultant Rafael Coscolluela, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, Bing Ponce de Leon of the Negros Economic Development Foundation and Bacolod Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Alfredo Barcelona.


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