MANILA, Feb. 2 — The local government of Victoria, Oriental Mindoro and Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology (MinSCAT) on Tuesday inked a partnership with the Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) to revitalize the town’s calamansi industry.
The memorandum of agreement was signed at the Victoria Municipal Hall by Victoria Mayor Alfredo G. Ortega Jr.; SEARCA director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr.; and MinSCAT president Dr. Jesse T. Zamora.
Under the agreement, the partners will implement a project called “Revitalizing Calamansi Industry in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro through Strengthening Linkages among Farmers, LGU, NGAs, SUCs, CSOs and the Private Sector,” which they had jointly developed.
The project aims to rehabilitate Victoria’s calamansi industry to make it economically viable and at the same time environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.
The bottom line is to raise yields, increase production of calamansi-based products, diversify products and markets, and boost income as a result of better prices of products sold and reduced postharvest losses during peak season.
Saguiguit said that the collaborative project is under the auspices of SEARCA’s Pilot and Upscaling Effective Models of Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD) Program.
“Through the program, SEARCA brings to local communities effective agricultural systems as models of ISARD that demonstrate increased benefit for poor and vulnerable groups through integrated ground-level development interventions,” he said.
Also present during the signing ceremonies are members of the newly formed Project Steering Committee which is composed of representatives from the MIMAROPA regional offices of the Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). (PNA)