Group urges to minimize conversion of agri lands

THE Davao Poultry and Egg Producers Inc. (Davpep) calls to minimize conversion of agricultural land into residential areas as it remains to be one of the challenges of the industry.

“The land conversion is happening so fast that the poultry industry, as well as the livestock, is being pushed further from the city. Since the production will also be affected if we don’t have sufficient land area where we can expand, I hope that can be addressed. We hope that the agricultural land will remain agricultural land so that we can invest and then expand and we can give the volume that the domestic market needs,” said lawyer Lalaine dela Victoria, Davpep president.

Dela Victoria also said the data that they have gathered from the Department of Agriculture revealed that there is a current shortage of poultry production in the country.

She also added their association wishes that not all socialized housing be constructed on agricultural lands because it affects the expansion of the businesses. However, if socialized housing would still be pushed on these lands, de la Victoria said tenements or vertical housing would be a much better residential structure that would help preserve the agricultural industry.

“Our industry needs a bigger portion of land. We needed to comply with the one-kilometer radius, the 200-meter requirement from the highway, 50-meter requirement from the boundary to the buildings. And our buildings are big because these are no longer backyard facilities. These are buildings that house big number of poultry. We would also need to protect the area for bio-security purposes,” she said.

On September 21 to 23, the Davao Agri Trade Expo will be conducted at the SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier. De la Victoria said this issue will be one of the concerns they are going to discuss most especially that Senate committee chair for agriculture and food Cynthia Villar will be present on the second day of the event.

“We want a Davao City that is urbanized but should come with a responsible sector of agribusiness,” said Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) vice president for industry Wilfredo Teves. (JPA)