The groundbreaking ceremony of the Southern Mindanao Integrated Agricultural Laboratory (SoMinAL), an institutional development project of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 11, was held on 9 November 2016 in Manambulan, Tugbok District, Davao City.
Gracing the event was Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, along with other DA key officials. Among present were Undersecretary for Administration and Finance, Ms. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat; Undersecretary for Fisheries, Commodore Eduardo Gongona; Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Administration and Finance, Atty. Francisco Villano, Jr.; Assistant Secretary for Livestock, Mr. Enrico Garzon; and Executive Assistant, Mr. Bong Piñol.
Also attending the event to witness the ceremony were Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) Director, Dr. Nicomedes Eleazar with key officials and staff, Bureau of PIant Industry Director, Dr. Vivencio Mamaril; Philippine Carabao Center Director, Dr. Arnel del Barrio; and DA-RFO 11 OIC-Regional Executive Director, Mr. Ricardo Oñate.
Supported by BAR through its Institutional Development Grant, the SoMinAL is envisioned to be a one-stop-shop composed of the following: crop protection center, soils laboratory, animal diseases diagnostic laboratory, and feed chemical analysis laboratory. These facilities aim to provide vital diagnostic services, analyses, and recommendation needs of the farmers and fishers in the region towards ensuring the productivity of the soil, crops, and livestock; increasing farmer’s income and product quality; and promoting consumer and environmental safety.
Sec. Piñol said that the SoMinAL represents the government’s dedication to the present and future farmers as it will address their long standing problems, particularly the lack of technical assistance regarding production and product concerns, which according to him limits their opportunities. ### (Cynthia Remedios V. de Guia)