The administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres vowed to strengthen the farming industry in hopes of providing local produce to a growing market. Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog made the statement in last Friday’s proclamation signing of the Farmers and Ranchers Week.
The Farmers and Ranchers Week started last Sunday, June 19, and will end with an Agricultural Fair on Saturday, June 25. The event, aside from highlighting the local agricultural industry, also promotes healthy living by eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Torres said the administration would continue to support the local farmers so they could produce quality products for the community. “We will strengthen the farming, fishing, and livestock industries. There are a lot of opportunities now for farming and raising livestock.”
“Our goal is to have the best produce and sell the best products to the community. The [Department of Lands and Natural Resources] have provided farmers of the needed services so I encourage other agencies to extend their assistance to farmers and ranchers if the need arises.”
Hocog, on the other hand, said that they were happy to see that more restaurants and stores on Saipan are buying produce to local farmers. “We’re excited since we see more local produce are being sold to restaurants.”
“This would encourage our local farmers to make sure to have produces of high quality and freshness of the products that they sell. To our local farmers, take pride in what you do. Go out and sell your produce,” said Hocog.
Hocog added the local farming industry, despite the challenges they meet like the unpredictable weather, must be prepared to meet the local demand. “We must prepare ourselves to provide businesses to avail local produce and meet the local demand.”
“The weather has been affecting us sometimes, but I ask all of the farmers to endure and find other ways to take care of your crops. We will develop and support all of your programs.”
Torres, meanwhile, said the community should avail of the local produce that is being sold at the Garapan Public Market and at the Sabalu Market. “I also go and buy at the Sabalu Market. I just encourage both groups to have collaboration since they both have the same goals.”
“That is to sell locally grown produce. We encourage everyone to support programs like this, support both the Garapan Market and Sabalu Markets since it helps strengthen the local agricultural industry,” added Torres.
Organizers of the event had received a total of $13,100 of donation. The Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation appropriated $10,000, while Best Sunshine International, Ltd.’s Corporate Social Responsibility gave $2,000.
Torres Brothers, the law office of the Governor’s siblings, pledged $1,000 after the CNMI chief executive egged his brother Joaquin. Rep. Joseph Leepan Guerrero’s (R-Saipan) family gave $100.
DLNR Secretary Richard Seman, SNILD chair Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan), Senate vice president Arnold Palacios (R-Saipan), Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan), Reps. Vinnie E. Sablan (Ind-Saipan), Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), and Ralph N. Yumul (Ind-Saipan) were also present in the proclamation signing.