By: Herzon F. Gallego
Butuan City – The indigenous people in Agusan del Sur who are composed mostly of tree farmers have expressed their earnest gratitude to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources headed by Secretary Regina Lopez and President Rodrigo Duterte for the implementation of the Expanded National Greening Program (NGP) in the rural barangays.
“Most of the Lumads living in the uplands are very much happy now. The NGP has helped in improving the impoverish life of the tree farmers” said Datu Subang whose name is Arnold Acebido, Chairman of the Federation of Tribal Community Agro Farmers Development Association (SIFTRICAFARDA) Inc.
“We sincerely thank the President for extending the program until 2028” Datu Subang said.
He said many people in the uplands are looking for opportunities to be included in the NGP because of the life improvement it can bring to those who are participating on it.
Datu Subang has able to develop about 120 hectares of coffee plantation in an area used to be occupied and operated by Timber Licensee in the 70’s at Sitio Bantolinao, in Barangay Padi-ay, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur. Most of the members of the Federation are beneficiaries of the NGP.
“We are looking forward to earn a good fortune from the plantation of coffee, falcata, and other cash crops we have planted since 2011 when the NGP started”.
He said the other members of the federation are waiting for time to harvest their plantation. Datu Subang stands to earn several millions of pesos from the harvest of coffee alone.
What is good with the coffee plantation is that they provide a cool environment. “We never cut trees anymore because they provide shade to the coffee plants” Datu Subang said.
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