URC, DA partner for potato production
Universal Robina Corp., the food and beverage arm of tycoon John Gokongwei, has partnered with the Department of Agriculture to boost the production of potatoes and help local farmers.
The program aims to increase the annual yield of potatoes and scale up farmers’ productivity.
“This is the first for any private corporation to give out support for our potato farmers. URC will help through the sourcing of seeds while we provide the technical support,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said during the launch.
URC will provide 135 metric tons (MT) of high quality imported Granola potato seeds from Canada valued at P5 million to select potato farming communities in Benguet, Mt. Province, Bukidnon and Davao del Sur.
The company is involved in a wide range of food-related businesses, organized into three segments namely branded consumer food, agro-industrial, and commodity food.
“Our job is to support the administration’s objective of assuring food security and ensuring fair prices for both farmers and consumers,” URC president and CEO Irwin Lee said.
“This initiative advances our multi-stakeholder sustainability agenda to accelerate local potato farming communities’ full economic, social and environmental benefits,” he added.
The seeds will cover 62 hectares and are projected to produce 2.7 million kilograms of potatoes in the first cycle.
The seeds will be used for four production cycles equivalent to two years, with total volume expected to reach 337,500 MT of potatoes.
Farmers will be given direct market access to Robinsons Supermarkets, an affiliate of URC.
Potato is a high-value crop produced mainly in Northern Mindanao, Davao and the Cordilleras.