Agusan del Sur eyes 20,000 hectares rubber plantation
Butuan City — A 20,000-hectare rubber tree plantation is being programmed in Agusan del Sur after having been seen as another key factor in climate change mitigation and sustainable livelihood to farmers.
The government and rubber growers are looking for bigger areas in the towns of Loreto, Trento, Rosario, Bunawan and the province’s lone city of Bayugan.
Agusan del Sur has already an existing 13, 321 hectares planted rubber trees, with 4, 972 hectares productive and producing a total cup lump volume of 15, 273 metric tons with an average of 3.1 metric tons per hectare.
Agusan del Sur Gov. Adolph Edward G. Plaza mobilized the province’s agriculture office to provide more materials to the rubber nurseries in Bayugan City, Trento and other areas in the province.
The rubber tree plantation program of Philsaga Mining Corporation/Mindanao Mineral Processing and Refining Corporation (PSMC/MMPRC) is also set to plant 130,000 budded rubber trees in the municipalities of Rosario and Bunawan, both in Agusan del Sur province.
The company’s rubber plantation program is seen to help more than 27,000 members of Manobo tribe in the said towns and neighboring areas. PSMC/MMPRC President Atty. Raul C. Villanueva and Resident Manager Engr. Ferdinand A. Cortes said the company is adding some funds for inter-cropping of various agricultural products as additional livelihood to highland folks, especially the natives.
Meanwhile, with the rubber development program of the province, the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) is set to construct a P31.6-million Rubber Processing Center/Natural Crumb Rubber Processing Plant in Agusan del Sur, the first ever modern rubber processing center to be established in Northeastern Mindanao.
The processing center will be equipped with a creeper and macerator, shredder, trolley dryer, hydraulic baling press and weighing scale.