Ironic, the food-basket towns in the third district failed to translate the gains of agriculture into solutions to poverty as the Philippine Statistics Office survey shows high poverty incidence in these areas.
Mabini topped the poverty incidence rate with 46.8 percent; followed by Pilar with 38.8 percent; Carmen, 38.4 percent; Sierra-Bullones, 35.1 percent; Candijay, 34.5 percent; Alicia, 33.9 percent; Batuan, 32.3 percent; Sevilla, 31.7 percent; Anda, 30.9 percent; Dimiao, 30.6 percent; Guindulman, 30.3 percent; Duero, 29.6 percent; Valencia, 28.5 percent; Garcia-Hernandez, 28 percent; Bilar, 22.6 percent; Loboc, 21.5 percent; Jagna and Lila, 19.6 percent; and Loay, 19.3 percent.
Department of Agriculture (DA)-7 Regional Director Angel Enriquez noted the irony in Pilar where the modern rice processing complex and the Malinao dam, one of the four major dams in Bohol, are located.
On this, Enriquez challenged mayors of the towns with high poverty incidence to utilize their municipal agriculturists according to their mandate.
She also reminded the mayors to choose â€œreal agriculturistsâ€ for the job to ensure â€œreal outputâ€.
She expressed lament on reports that some MAOs had been utilized for other tasks not related to agriculture.
If this goes on, DA might be forced to detail MAOs to the national agency (DA) instead of the present setting where they are under the mayorâ€™s office.
Enriquez also called on the mayors, the MAOs and municipal planning and development officers to complete their respective agri-fisheries municipal development plans so they could have clear directions.
DA commissioned Rafael Tagalog Jr. as the consultant for the formulation of DA-Agri-Fisheries Municipal Development Plan.
Enriquez said third district towns play a significant collective role in the food self-sufficiency of the province since they are mainly agricultural.
Pilar has an agriculturalÂ areaÂ of 5,385 hectares where 427 hectares are allocated for corn.
In 2014, at least 233 hectares produced 108 metric tons of corn; while in the 2015 target, DA-7 expects a report of 239 hectares producing 116 metric tons; and in 2016, the 239 hectares to produce 124 metric tons of corn.
On rice, the 2015 output shows that Pilar had 4,535 hectares of rice-harvested area that produced 18,351 metric tons of palay or an average yield of 4.05 metric tons per hectare.
The target for 2016 for Pilar is 4,906 hectares of rice-harvested area to produce a volume of 20,031 metric tons or an average yield of 4.08 metric tons per hectare.
Next year, DA-7 expects Pilar to have 4,950 hectares producing 20,636 metric tons or an average yield of 4.17 metric tons per hectare.
Mabini has 3,933 hectares of agricultural areas where 219 hectares are planted with corn where 73 hectares produced 33 metric tons of corn in 2014; while the town is expected to report for 2015 output, 75 hectares producing 36 metric tons, and 75 hectares producing 39 metric tons in 2016.
Mabini also has 1,804 hectares producing 4,862 metric tons of palay in 2015 or an average yield of 2.7 per hectare.
Once the 2016 record is reconciled, it is expected to settle at 1,951 hectares producing 5,305 metric tons of palay or an average yield per hectare of 2.72 metric tons.
Next yearâ€™s target for Mabini is for 1,969 hectares of ricelands to produce 5,467 metric tons of palay or an average yield of 2.78 metric tons per hectare.
For the high-value crops performance and targets, DA-7 record shows Pilar had harvested 28 metric tons of vegetables from 27.5 hectares, and 2,325 fruits from 200.7 hectares in 2014.
The target for 2015 was to cultivate 36.6 hectares for vegetables and 213 hectares for fruits; and expand to 38.4 hectares of vegetables and 217.3 hectares for fruits in 2016.
Carmen which ranked third in poverty incidence, had 4,584 hectares producing 15,050 metric tons of palay in 2015 or an average yield of 3.28 metric tons per hectare in 2015.
The target this year is for 4,959 hectares to produce 16,427 metric tons of palay or an average yield of 3.31 metric tons per hectare; and for 2017, is for 5,003 hectares to produce 16,921 metric tons of palay or an average yield of 3.38 metric tons per hectare.
Carmen has produced 3,096 metric tons of corn in 2014; and is expected to report an output of 3,335 metric tons for 2015, and 3,569 metric tons for 2016.
Third district towns had 30,589 hectares of ricelands that produced 110,979 metric tons of palay in 2015.
Pilar was the top contributor to the districtâ€™s output, followed by Carmen; while Alicia ranked third with 13,395 metric tons contributed; then Candijay, contributing 10,966 metric tons.
For livestock, third district tended 23,726 heads of cattle, at least 30,964 carabaos, at least 26,055 goats, and 98,698 swine in 2015.
The target this year is to grow the herd to 23,966 for cattle, at least 31,180 of carabao, at least 26,166 of goat, and 99,615 for swine.
DA-7 challenged the district to further grow the number to 24,041 for cattle, at least 31,134 for carabao, at least 26,612 for goat, and 98,965 for swine.