Leyte Samar Daily Express
NAVAL, BILIRAN—Mayor Gerardo Espina, Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran envisions the island province of Biliran to be the vegetable basket in Eastern Visayas.
Mayor Espina, who is the president of the League of Municipalities (LMP)-Biliran chapter said the province has rich and fertile land that could be planted with a variety of high value commercial crops.
“Biliran has better soil compared to other areas in the region. Water is not a problem since we have abundant supply coming from the mountains of the island,” Espina said during the turn-over of four greenhouse facilities of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to three Biliran municipalities of Almeria, Culaba and Caibiran.
“I wanted Biliran to be the number one vegetable producer in Region 8. If we have more than enough supply, we can also deliver vegetables to Cebu and Masbate,” Espina added.
Biliran is currently dependent of vegetable supply from Cebu, but according to Mayor Espina, this could be lessened if the people will start planting even in their own backyards.
He added that transportation of farm produce in the island province is already accessible since all roads of the province’s 132 barangays have been concreted.
“That was what I have envisioned when I was still a congressman. If all barangay roads will be cemented, farmers will have easy access to markets to sell their farm produce,” Espina said.
As this developed, local chief executives of Almeria, Culaba and Caibiran already received their greenhouse projects from the DA regional office.
Mayor Eulalio Maderazo of Caibiran told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the greenhouse in his town would boost vegetable production and would translate to additional income of his constituents.
Maderazo said he has allocated additional budget for the local agriculture office to intensify vegetable production among its 17 barangays.
Mayor Dominador Agajan of Almeria, Biliran meanwhile said the greenhouse project turned over to his municipality would augment farmers’ income, particularly the vegetable growers.
Based on DA data, Biliran has the highest food self-sufficiency index. In terms of rice production, the province has 250% sufficiency index compared to other provinces in the region. (REYAN L. ARINTO)