Imee to Ifugao execs: Focus on health, agri- tourism vs poverty

>> Sunday, July 8, 2018

By Freddie Lazaro

LAGAWE, Ifugao — Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos has urged the Ifugao officials to focus their programs on health and agri-tourism to address the problem on poverty in the province.
Gracing the 52nd founding anniversary of “Gotad ad Ifugao” here, Marcos also expressed support to local officials for their programs that focus on agriculture.
She mentioned challenges in the agriculture sector of Ifugao, saying, “we still have failures in irrigation and a lack of research in hybrid rice; the inability to provide farmers more inputs.”
Assuring the province that Ilocos Norte would be there to help, she told them, “I’m convinced that helping each other ̶ not leaving the Cordillera behind, not leaving any Ifuganon behind ̶ I’m certain that we can end poverty in this generation if we really put our minds to it.”
She said both provinces have similar problems as two-thirds of Ilocos Norte is in the mountain zone of Cordillera. “I think the most important goal is to lift our people out of poverty in this generation, as soon as possible; certainly, the rural indigenous and remote peoples need to be addressed.”
Through providing quality agricultural infrastructure and increasing off-farm agricultural income for farmers, Imee believes that such alleviation of poverty could happen in the Solid North.
She added that agro-tourism, with sites such as the Banaue Rice Terraces, could also be a key to addressing poverty and empowering local communities, together with improved affordable healthcare.
“We need to enlist women and the youth to start contributing in commercial activities,” she said.
Noting instances of corruption, she also suggested that the government should directly give to the farmers what they need instead of getting embroiled in fraud.


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