THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture, together with the Abra provincial government, broke ground for an agri-tourism and innovation center in Tayum town last Saturday. Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar and Governor Maria Jocelyn-Valera Bernos led the ceremony for the facility that will serve as an educational hub on modern agricultural technologies and practices for farmers and students. It is also intended as a research and production facility to boost production of the region’s major commodities such as rice, corn, coffee, cacao, cassava, mango, lowland vegetables, organic products, beef cattle, and carabao. “This is such an important project of the Abra Provincial Government and we will see to it that the Department of Agriculture will do its share in turning this important facility into a showcase of modern and industrializing agriculture,” Mr. Dar said during the event that coincided with the Kawayan (Bamboo) Festival and Farmers’ Day celebration. The Agriculture secretary committed P31 million for the construction of a bamboo research and processing center and P7.5 million for a satellite Agricultural Research and Development Station in the province. Meanwhile, the DA has also given over P300 million in assistance funds to the province’s 27 municipalities, farmers, fisherfolk, and agricultural extension workers. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave