Former Secretary of Defense and UniTeam Senate candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro said on Thursday there was an urgent need for policy reform to save and revitalize the local sugar industry.
Teodoro said a pressing issue that needs to be addressed is the land retention limit, which is a maximum of 3 hectares of compacted land, as required by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
“The Ministry of Agrarian Reform continues to insist that the land retention limit be three hectares, which is not an economy of scale,” said the former House representative for the first district of Tarlac Province during his visit to Bacolod City on Wednesday.
“We need to clarify that for the stability of land tenure systems and for them to [the farmers] can invest properly,” he added.
Teodoro said the decrease in agricultural area for sugar cane has resulted in low productivity. Therefore, extending the land retention boundary would help sugar producers increase their yields.
He added that local sugar production has fluctuated over the past three years based on data from the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
Sugar is among the top five crops on Negros Island in terms of value, after rice, bananas, corn and coconut.