MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday expressed his support on giving spotlight to adlay as an alternative staple food on Filipino table, noting that introducing more variants of food will boost the income of farmers and former rebels engaged in farming and food production programs of the government.
During his visit to the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) here, Secretary Andanar committed to help promote the agricultural products of Region 10, while reiterating next year’s plan of conducting broadcast auction of farmers’ produce.
“This initiative of cultivating adlay will help diversify the source of income of our farmers. And, of course, we will help promote the adlay because we are planning to have a broadcast auction of agricultural products by January. With this, we are looking forward to exploring the market for adlay and creating more opportunities for agriculture to grow,” he said.
He added that the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez have already expressed their support on this said plan.
Secretary Andanar will also be visiting the site of adlay production of former rebels in Malaybalay on Tuesday.
Adlay, one of staple cereal crops of many indigenous peoples (IPs) in the upland areas, is an endemic agricultural crop to the Philippines and is currently one of the focus of research of the Department of Agriculture as it furthers bid for food security and sufficiency.
According to DA-10 Regional Director Carlene Collado, the agency is tossing up adlay not only as additional Filipino staple food but also a commercial crop.
He further discussed that other value-added goods are already produced from it through the Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR), which provided funds for the value-adding technology development of adlay. Known products include adlay wine, coffee, soap, and cereal.
At present, adlay is being produced in over 500 hectares of land in Region 10, particularly in Bukidnon with major cultivating areas including Lantapan and Malaybalay City.
The DA-10 has allotted land for the production of adlay seeds also, which are set to be distributed to farmers and interested cultivators of the staple crop on its anticipated first harvest period on the last week of November.
Secretary Andanar is visiting Bukidnon for a week-long project inspection and site visit on Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC X) Convergence Areas for Peace and Development (CAPDev) programs. He will also be engaging with local government units on their COVID-19 responses.
These form part of his task as Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security of Region 10 (CORDS X).