From raw materials to finished products, Enrile town still thrives as the major source of peanut in the country as it contributes 8-10 % share to the national domestic supply nearly a whopping 1, 800 mt yearly said Department of Agriculture Regional Office No. 02 (DA RFO 02) Technical Director for Research and Regulatory Rose Mary G. Aquino yesterday during the conduct of the first Peanut Congress.

The first peanut congress, held at the municipal grounds, in Enrile, Cagayan, the Peanut Capital of the Philippines has organized the peanut council that will focus on this industry. In her speech, Aquino announced an agri-commercial investment complex in Cagayan Valley will soon rise and will be named as Enrile Peanut Agricultural Complex.

She said, that the facility will be composed of agricommercial center (grocery shop, food court, pasalubong center, bank), training, trading, and processing center, social hall, greenhouse, drying facility and packaging center, parks and playgrounds.

This complex, according to Mayor Miguel B. Decena Jr., will house the pre-production up to the marketing cycle that will benefit the existing and future peanut farmers of this town.

“We will assist peanut-related researches and help in the optimum dissemination and application of modern methods of peanut farming and replication of appropriate technology to maximize productivity. We will sponsor the launching of peanut farms, peanut harvests, and peanut products. We vow to celebrate the annual peanut festival to cement the place of peanut farmers in the front line of our agricultural program,” he added.

Aquino met the newly organized council to reiterate the important elements which according to her that to reduce the costs of labor, DA and the LGU will adopt mulching as a way to keep down weeds, continuous mechanization, proper fertilization and taking advantage of the Cagayan river as an open water source for irrigation during dry season.

Not only that Enrile will benefit on this agri complex, but also the neighboring towns of Isabela and Cagayan as it will be a center for corn, rice, and livestock. “The complex will serve as an avenue for farmers’ produce and production inputs from various industries,” said Aquino.

“All of these plans and programs for our peanut farmers seem too ambitious,” stressed Decena talking to hundreds of peanut farmers present during the congress. “But I have learned that Enrilenos are stronger and more capable than what we believe ourselves to be. As long as we work together, Enrile as the premier world-class peanut capital of the Philippines shall never cease to be. It may take time, but surely we will get there,” he added.

Sure Market

Mama Sita’s is a premier company for mixes and sauces vowed to locally support and outsource local produce to sustain and maintain the quality of their products, recent involvement was when they bought calamansi of Aurora farmers. Mama Sita’s purchasing manager Vicente Filamer Rosell said that they need 20,000 kilos of peanut for their sauces every month in support of the plight of local farmers on where to market their produce.

“When we found out that Enrile produces a better quality of peanuts we know we have to go here and work with the LGU. We assure you that we will support local so as long it will pass the highest quality standard for exports,” he said.

For Renato Caranguian, a peanut farmer for 25 years of Enrile, Cagayan the continuous interventions like the conduct of good agricultural practices training to comply with the strict requirements of Mama Sita’s are needed.

Ariel Bunagan, a college graduate chose to live his dream to pursue farming and is now consistently produces high-quality peanuts. Despite the decrease of peanut farmers who sifted from corn, the activity aims are to encourage more and more farmers to go back on this promising business.

Also, present during the program and presented their programs and commitments were the Departments of Trade and Industry Region 2 (DTI RO 2), Science and Technology Region 2 (DOST RO 2), Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) Cagayan, Cagayan State University Piat Campus, and the Cagayan Valley Research Center (CVRC).