By Philippines News Agency
DAVAO CITY — The Department of Agriculture (DA) is setting up an agricultural laboratory worth P150 million next year in Manambulan, Tugbok District, this city.
The project called the Southern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Laboratory (SoMInAL) aims to harmonize agricultural laboratories to help increase production and ensure quality and bio-safety of agricultural products through state of the art research and development facilities.
Of the P150 million, P100 million will be utilized for the building construction while P50 million is allocated for the laboratory paraphernalia.
Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Wednesday said the laboratory would directly address the needs for the provision of various diagnostic services, analyses and ensure product quality, consumer safety and environmental protection for both domestic and global markets.
“SoMInaL will serve the needs of our farmers, fisherfolks and livestock growers. It will also mark a radical development and at the same time strengthen the High Value Crops industry,” Piñol added.
He said the laboratory will handle plant disease, animal disease, water and soil analysis. “We are confronted with various diseases in plants like for example the Fusarium wilt and cocolisap. There is a need for research with such problems. This (lab) is the solution for our dream to address the problems confronting our farmers,” Piñol said.
He added, “I would like it to be completed in the next two years or even earlier.”
On the other hand, Piñol reiterated his thrust against corruption during his speech after the groundbreaking ceremony of the SoMInaL on Wednesday afternoon.
He challenged DA employees to give the projects needed by the farmers. “I hope we will be able to prove to the farmers that our government is not corrupt and I want all of you to make the same commitment,” he said.
Piñol also assured the farmers and stakeholders present during the groundbreaking ceremony that President Rodrigo Duterte supports the agriculture sector.