The Philippine Department of Agriculture and Universal Robina Corp. (URC), one of the Philippines’ largest food and beverage companies, have signed a C$127,000 program to boost the potato industry in the country by importing high-quality Granola potato seeds from Canada.

The program will connect URC with farmers, and also help them get access to quality seeds, fertilizer, training, and market opportunities. 

The farmers’ cooperative beneficiaries were the Highland Farmers Agri Cooperative from Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City, Davao del Sur, Mt. Apo Potato Farmers Association from Barangay Managa, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, and Alegre Arabica and Vegetable Growers Association in Barangay Alegre, Bansalan, Davao del Sur.  

In 2017, potato demand in the Philippines reached 380,333 metric tonnes while local production remained at 116,783 metric tonnes, which resulted in a 69 per cent local supply shortage.

“URC will teach our farmers the proper way of planting and during their harvest, URC will check the quality of their produce and will buy it if it will pass their standards,” Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

Aside from DA and URC, the Bureau of Plant Industry-National Seed Quality Control Services (BPI-NSQCS) will also conduct and train potential seed growers to make quality potato seeds available in Davao Region. Davao Region is the country’s second leading potato producer with 9,846 metric tons average annual production.

The Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine Aquatic School of Technology (SPAMAST) will provide research and development assistance through monitoring the yield performance and the occurrence of pests and diseases in granola seeds from Canada under Davao del Sur conditions.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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