STATE OF THE PROVINCE ADDRESS. Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado delivered his State of the Province Address on Monday (Dec.4) where he made several commitments which include food sufficiency in the province in five years’time.

MAASIN CITY– Governor Damian Mercado of the province of Southern Leyte expressed his full desire for the province to become self-sufficient in terms of producing enough food for its people within the next decade, in the near future.

In his State of the Province Address (SOP) on Monday, December 4, at the provincial gym, Mercado let out a vision of a province that can stand on its own food supply by the year 2025 or by 2030, and some possible strategies to make it happen.

He emphasized that even if other neighboring provinces have a scarcity of their own food due to various causes, such as the spread of a contagious disease like the Asian Swine Fever (ASF), the province will not be affected.

“In our agricultural sector, our goals for this year mainly include the production increase of essential agricultural goods in the province and the establishment of a multi-species hatchery and tilapia fry dispersal,” the governor said.

He zeroed in on the multi-species fish hatchery, whose completion will certainly boost the production of many kinds of fishes along the stretch of the Sogod Bay sea, not just limited to bangus.

Aside from that, he mentioned continuing efforts at fortifying livestock supply such as the dispersal of broiler and native chickens along with the distribution of feeds, and the establishment of a Swine Multiplier Techno Demo Farm through the provincial veterinary office, for a steady, quality supply of meat and related products.

Individual hog raisers may access good breed of sows from the techno demo farm through the dispersal program, and be assured of healthy piglets, it was learned.

On rice production, Mercado said rice farmers especially in the pacific area, the rice granary of the province, will have continued support of certified seeds with accompanying fertilizers.

In addition to pitching a vision of a food-sufficient province, Mercado highlighted in his speech major projects, programs, and activities, particularly in the areas of finance, real properties management, infrastructure, social services, agriculture, veterinary services, environmental management, tourism, peace and order, education, health, disaster risk reduction and management, and local governance. (MMP/PIA8-Southern Leyte)