Agricultural research center to rise in Ligao

LIGAO CITY --- To spur and sustain the Albay’s food security program, a Root Crops Research and Development Center (RCRDC) will soon rise in Ligao City, an Albay solon bared on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Albay 3rd district Rep. Fernando Cabredo said the House committee on agriculture is currently looking into his proposed legislation, House Bill No. 7439 entitled “An Act Developing the Root Crops Industry in Bicol, Creating for the Purpose the Root Crops Research and Development Center and the Root Crops Subsidy Fund and Appropriating Funds for this Purpose.”

Cabredo, in an interview, said he hoped that his bill once approved by the house committee would be endorsed to the House plenary for discussion and approval.

The proposed RCRDC will be established in a five hectare land in Ligao City.

An initial P200 million fund was earmarked to finance the establishment and operations of the center, which is expected to be operational by 2021.

The center would conduct technical studies on root crops development and assist farmers and other stakeholders in crops production.

Cabredo said his bill was crafted to boost the root crop industry potential of the region particularly Albay province, aimed at promoting crop diversification and sustainable livelihood opportunities to thousands of Bicolano farmers.

He said he believed that developing the root crop industry would boost the region’s food security and livelihood of Bicolano farmers.

Citing studies, he said the region, particularly Albay, frequently experiences typhoons, flood and drought that lead to severe damages to properties and loss of livelihood in agriculture

Cabredo said “natural calamities that regularly occur in Bicol pose a direct threat to our food security and the livelihood of farmers during difficult times.”

“Root crops such as camote, cassava, peanut and alike have shown resilience in recent typhoons,” he said.