A CITY councilor on Monday said that investors interested to pour in substantial investments in Marilog and Paquibato Districts are a welcome development.

Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang, speaking in yesterday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City, said there's a need to expand the city's agriculture sector, given that the population is ramping up brought about by an exodus of people finding new home in the city.

Dayanghirang, chair of the committee on enviroment and finance, said the city is still 75 percent agriculture-based, adding that relying on industrial investments will not support economic development.

Dayanghirang cited agro-tourism as possible preferred area for investment in Marilog and Paquibato, both of these have wider areas to play host for companies into agriculture.

"The position of the city is to invite investors. We have mountainous areas and valleys. We need to develop an agricultural sector that is strong and vibrant," he said.

"It's high time to welcome investors and help generate income," he said.

Oil palm has been identified as a viable crop that can be planted in those areas, along with corn, coffee, cacao, and rubber.

For his part, City Information Office (CIO) officer-in-charge Leo Villareal said that there was a Singaporean-based firm who came down to the city for a possible partnership on oil palm investments.

He said a proposal has been submitted to executive branch, which will then be forwarded to City Council to thresh out further issues. One of which will be an open discussion with the chieftains of each tribe in Marilog and Paquibato since this agri-development will encroach on ancestral domains.

Dayanghirang added it's better to embark on oil palm than mining because the latter might do more harm than good.

With fruit-bearing trees, more carbon dioxide will be sequestered, making it more beneficial to the environment.

"You'll just need to harvest from trees," he said. Also, developing these areas will also help the people in the hinterlands earn a better income.

"Developing the city's center is not strategically feasible. We need to develop the people upstream," he said.