SECRETARY Emmanuel Piñol of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Thursday, November 16, said the agency is employing measures to address the decrease in sugar prices.
Piñol, who was in Bacolod City for the 11th National Shrimp Congress at SMX Convention Center, said the government can “hardly (do) anything” to bring up the prices of sugar since it is a “worldwide problem.”
However, the government is “increasing the farmers’ productivity” through various support services to ease the effects of the sugar price decrease, he added.
Piñol said the DA is looking at other activities related to the sugar industry where farmers could get other sources of income until such time that the sugar prices stabilize.
DA had earlier called on farmers in Negros Occidental to organize a province-wide cooperative to “act as service provider” where farmers could lend money for farm equipments such as tractors.
The DA is verifying reports of the new unabated entry of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) into the country.
He said he is not in the authority to verify if there’s indeed an attempt to smuggle HFCS since he is not from the Bureau of Customs.
Piñol assured the Negrenses that his office will look into the matter.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said sugar production must be low and efficient.
Piñol also announced the confirmation of appointment of former Negros Occidental vice governor Emilio Yulo III as Sugar Board director representing the planters.
Yulo’s appointment will take effect after his oath-taking.