DA official warns of agri lands converted to housing, other uses

by Joseph B. Zambrano


BAGUIO CITY — “The limited land suited for food production in the Cordillera is slowly being lost to housing and other uses besides farming,” an official of the Department of Agriculture said.

According to DA Cordillera regional executive director Marilyn Sta. Catalina, the watersheds where irrigation sources water for farmlands and for domestic use are also slowly being lost and converted to ther uses rather than being preserved.

She cautioned all agricultural stakeholders in the Cordillera to these concerns stressing that agricultural lands be preserved and not converted to other uses.

Even with the Cordillera’s limited areas devoted to agricultural production, these have great potentials for producing highest quality food products,” Catalina said.

The Cordillera’s ideal agricultural lands consist of rice and vegetable terraces along rolling terrains, plateaus, and valleys.

These areas are known for the production of unique crops such as heirloom rice, hybrid and open pollinated corn, aromatic Arabica coffee, strawberries, temperate vegetables, cassava, citrus and other fruit trees, quality certified and hybrid rice, sweet potatoes, bananas, livestock, and aquaculture, Catalina explained.

The DA encourages the development of traditional crops, organic farming, and integrated farming systems in the bid to allow farmers to be involved in the governments’s food production and security thrust, Catalina said.

The region’s watersheds and agricultural lands are intertwined precious resources. There is a need for a special care and attention by those who benefit from it, Catalina added.#