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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, August 5, 2011
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Alcala opens
nat’l veggies gab

BY MARICAR ARANAS

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala led the opening of the exhibit area at the three-day 9th National Vegetable Congress at the Negros Oriental Convention Center in Dumaguete City, yesterday.

. The participants of the congress are vegetable growers, producers and agriculture officers from different provinces nationwide.

In his message, Alcala extended his gratitude to the provincial government of Negros Oriental for hosting the 9th National Vegetable Congress. He is also thankful for the participation of the vegetable seed growers and producers for there participation in the exhibit.

Alcala also emphasized the need for sustainable vegetable production and improvement of market opportunity. He admitted the need to improve the market opportunity for vegetables, especially those that are highly perishable.

He is encouraging the provincial government and the local agriculture office to make a road map for agriculture development that will include the improved production and market of vegetables. He lauded the effort of the provincial government in pushing for organic farming.

Alcala said he will be sending a team of experts from the DA to discuss and draft an agriculture road map in the province. This is one way of helping the farmers to have a sustainable income and to encourage them to explore other vegetable varieties for more production.

Governor Roel Degamo said the visit of Alcala has opened up doors of opportunity for Negros Oriental in terms of agriculture development. There are project proposals he submitted to Alcala that he hopes will be given favorable action.

Alcala promised to improve the services of a soil laboratory in Negros Oriental, adding that there will be more equipment and test kits to ensure speedy and accurate soil testing results.

He said the provincial government has to make a formal request to the Department of Agriculture because the department has allocated a specific budget for the purchase of equipment for the upgrade of soil analysis services.

Alcala said he is concerned with the soil analysis because majority of the agriculture areas in the country are not being tested for acidity. He clarified that identifying the soil acidity will help farmers choose the right fertilizer and crops suited for the type of soil.

Improving the soil quality will also enhance the agriculture production especially, if the farmers will adopt the organic farming system.

He said there are soil tests kits that they are giving to some provinces in Luzon, after they made a request to the DA.*MA

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