To secure food in the island province of Batanes, the Department of Agriculture (DA) shall continue promoting crops-livestock-fishery integration.

In his recent visit in Batanes, Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo of DA-Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02) urged the provincial government and Batanes Experiment Station (BES) to validate areas for irrigation in order to sustain and develop new areas for food production.

“As well know, Batanes depends on the mainland for its rice requirement. But we can assist them to produce palay through the construction of irrigation facilities,” he said.

“I assured Governor Marilou Cayco that DA shall work closely with the provincial government especially in validating areas for irrigation that needs funding.”

He particularly mentioned that Itbayat town can become the center of food production in the province due to the presence of the lake as a source of irrigation.

“Batanes should start producing their rice requirement. Let us help prepare them to do this because I believe there will come a time that the mainland cannot sustain the requirement due to the effect of climate change,” he emphasized.

“The province of Batanes has the potential to become a major tourist destination in the country because of its rich and vast natural and agricultural resources. Sustaining its agriculture is a must if we want to achieve this.”

Batanes is known for its garlic and root crops such as potato and Gabi.

The province is also raising quality livestock aside from its fishery resources.

It is considered an organic province since their crops and livestock are produced in natural ways.

Edillo and other DA-RFO 02 officials were in Batanes last week to attend a national meeting on DA’s mechanization and infrastructure program.

He likewise spearheaded other activities such as consultation with local officials and farmers and the distribution of agricultural inputs and livestock.

Last year, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol also visited Batanes and assured officials and residents that DA shall provide assistance suited to their needs.