MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin M. Andanar said, former rebels (FR) find interest in planting adlay which is easier to cultivate and incurs less production cost.

In line with the government’s pursuit to end local terrorism in the country, Andanar and his team visited adlay farm in Camp Osito Bahian of the 403rd Infantry Brigade on Tuesday, October 20 with Col. Ferdinand T. Barandon and Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga of the Department of Agriculture in Region 10.

Seeing adlay’s health benefits and its impact to the lives of the FRs and IPs, Andanar assured that the PCOO will help the DA -10 and the 403rd Infantry Brigade, PA  in promoting and marketing adlay, including its value-added products to sustain the project.

Director Collado shared, the department has partnered with the AFP to reach far-flung areas and use its military reservation camps for planting adlay that will benefit FRs living nearby.

According to Col. Barandon, Camp Bahian has a total area of 70 hectares suitable for agriculture.

“The 10-hectare at the back was already planted with corn by some trained personnel with the help of some FRs, which will eventually be converted to adlay farm,” Barandon expressed.

On the other hand, Andanar who is also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security (CORDS) in Region 10 visited the adlay seed production which is also undertaken by DA-RFO 10’s research center to produce and distribute quality seeds to the farmers in Northern Mindanao.

Adlay is one of the alternative staple foods in the country, planted for research and development of appropriate adlay technologies by its research station, the Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) in Dalwangan.

Andanar said, the PCOO will launch a broadcast auction early next year to feature some agricultural products of the region in partnership with PTV4, Department of Trade and Industry and DA, of which adlay will be promoted through the platform.

Dir. Collado presented the crop’s various value-added products, such as adlay grits, cereal, coffee, cookies, wine and even soap.

He emphasized that the prevailing farm gate price of the seeds is P50-100 per kilo and the grits ranges from P180-200 per kilo.

DA-RFO 10 Research Division OIC-Chief Carmelito T. Lapoot said, in 2012, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research has started to fund the project as it was found to have economic significance to some indigenous peoples (IPs) in some parts of the region due to its adaptability, resilience to pests and diseases and lesser cost of maintenance in farming.

“Based on studies, adlay is good for diabetes since it has low glycemic index and rich in fiber, making it in demand to consumers who’s into healthy foods,” Lapoot explained.

He also noted that the region has a total source of about 520 hectares of said crop, particularly in Bukidnon with major growing areas in Lantapan, Manolo Fortich, Impasug-ong, Talakag and Malaybalay City; which are mostly due for harvest on the last week of November this year.

Andanar’s project visit is in line with the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Bukidnon to fully operationalize Executive Order No.70, also known as the whole of nation approach. # (EMBentulan)