By Freddie G. Lazaro

PASUQUIN, Ilocos Norte – – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte had launched the black pepper and moringa farms in a village of Pasuquin town on June 18, 2020 to mark to the observance of the environment month this June.

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc led the other local officials in the groundbreaking ceremony of the farms at the vacant 19 – hectare public land in Barangay Davila.

“We are all healing this calamity in many different ways but I am heart-warm that on this sunny day under many trees, we come together and celebrate our Environment Month,” the governor said.

Through a signed memorandum of agreement between the provincial government of Ilocos Norte and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the provincial government allowed developing the 19-hectare public land as plantations for black pepper (paminta) and moringa, locally –known as malunggay.

“We commit and revitalize our dedication to our environment. We are known as Renewable Energy Capital’of Southeast Asia. We are known as the very Green Province and I know that Ilokanos will always take pride in our care and concern for the environment,” Governor Marcos Manotoc said.

He further shared his plan to expand moringa production in the province, citing that the “superfruit” was reported to alleviate symptoms of COVID-19.

Lawyer Da Vinci Crisostomo, the chairman of the committee on the environment of the provincial board in Ilocos Norte, cited the black pepper as a high-value crop that can be exported to other countries.

“We will start an environmental project in Pasuquin town. One of which is the planting of black pepper from the DENR Central Office. Black pepper has export quality potential in which we could plant it all throughout the province,” said Crisostomo.