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MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol (center) gestures in a meeting with Gov. Edwin Jubahib as he explains the proposal of crafting an Agricultural and Fisheries Master Plan for the Province of Davao del Norte. 

Davao City – With the continuing Fusarium Wilt or Panama Disease heavily affecting banana plantations, the threat of entry of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Mindanao, and low agricultural productivity, the Mindanao Development Authority proposes the crafting of an Agriculture and Fisheries Masterplan for the province of Davao del Norte.

In a meeting with MinDA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, DavNor Governor Edwin I. Jubahib expressed his concerns for the farmers’ plight in the province, especially those affected by Panama Disease.

“Part of good governance is going back to the basic needs of the farmers and addressing them,” Governor Jubahib said.

In efforts to resolve the on-going agricultural woes and increase productivity in Davao del Norte, Secretary Piñol suggested the development of an agricultural masterplan, with MinDA’s oversight and facilitation.

“Initially, we are looking at a three-day planning workshop with a focus on a rural farm to market roads and bridges, irrigation, livestock, and fisheries,” said Secretary Piñol.

The Secretary also recommended a temporary shift to other crops for the farms affected by the Panama Disease to allow soil regeneration.

“They could instead plant hybrid rice, corn, and sorghum seeds for the banana areas and eucalyptus trees in the uplands too,” he said.

“In support, MinDA will help the provincial government obtain seeds for the crops, ready market for the produce, and loan access for solar-powered water systems for irrigation and drinking as well,” Piñol added.

Other areas of partnerships are on the acquisition of tractor-pooling for rice farming, technical assistance to prepare the province for market engagement, the establishment of a market-oriented database to support the farmers, information and advocacy campaigns, and biosecurity measures.

The province is set to conduct a forum with the farmers affected by Fusarium Wilt on Friday in Tagum City.

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