NASIPIT, Agusan del Norte - Thousands of residents of this province are expected to benefit from a multi-million dollar Korean investment, officials said Saturday.
The good news came out after the provincial government led by Agusan del Norte Gov. Erlpe John M. Amante signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Agriculture Development Institute (IADI) based in Seoul, Korea.
The Korean investment is expected to spur the economic growth of the province and also provide livelihood and employment to Agusanons.
IADI wants to utilize 15,000 hectares of land for a period of 25 years at the LASBUENASCAR area (composed of Las Nieves, Buenavista, and Carmen), including the towns of Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, and Kitcharao.
IADI intends to occupy these areas for agricultural tree and fruit plantations.
The LASBUENASCAR Agro-Forestry Project has been a favorite investment spot because of its vast area and the fact that its soil is perfect for crops.
In March 2011, a MoA was signed between the province and a Korean-based firm, Newphilcorn Corporation, for the establishment of a yellow corn plantation and processing plant consisting of 1,000-5,000 hectares of land.
In January 2011, a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the establishment of a banana plantation by La Agusana Fresh International, Inc., a local investor based in Davao City.
The province is expecting a significant turnaround of its economy in the coming years vis-à-vis the surge of employment in the affected areas.
"The memorandum of understanding serves to establish cooperation between the two parties and define their respective roles and responsibilities for the effective and sustainable implementation of the proposed plantation project," a resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said.
"Our company is very much interested on cassava, palm oil, and the processing of wood pellets, which are highly in-demand abroad," Nam Kyu Park, the Philippine Branch Manager of IADI, said in a letter sent to the provincial governor.