By Manny Pinol
!Eight areas in my home province of North Cotabato have been identified as potential production sites for the high-value Hass Avocado as part of the Environmental Farming Program advocated by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
The City of Kidapawan and the towns of Makilala, Magpet, President Roxas, Antipas, Arakan, Alamada and Banisilan have high elevation areas which experts say is most ideal for growing Hass Avocado.
Since my eldest daughter, Dr. Maria Krista Piñol-Solis who is now a Board Member, is the Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, I will craft the program for North Cotabato which she could introduce to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Governor Nancy Catamco.
With the aid of digital technology, high elevation areas in the province which would be ideal for Hass Avocado farming will be identified. Owners of these areas will then be notified and asked if they are interested in the program after which they will be organized into an association.
All those who will participate in the program will be included in a Database which will include the exact location and size of their farms.Before the start of the program, a market linkage will be established through a marketing agreement after which the Provincial Government will undertake a training on Hass Avocado farming and financial literacy
.As soon as these are completed, the financing partner of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Development Bank of the Philippines, will be brought in to provide financing for the program.
(Mr. Pinol is the chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA))