LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The provincial government announced recently that it will start producing salt in a 473-hectare farm in Barangay Zaragoza in Bolinao by October.
A SALT Farm in Pangasinan. (Liezle Basa-Inigo)
Dhobie de Guzman, provincial information officer, said the provincial government will operate the salt farm, not Pacific Farms Inc., whose foreshore lease contract expired in 2002.
The salt farm, which was shut down in February 2021, used to be the country’s largest salt producer, contributing up to 25,000 metric tons (MT) a year to the nation’s total salt production.
Assistant provincial agriculturist Nestor Batalla said that by July, preliminary activities will start in the farm so they could start harvesting salt by October.
Last December, Gov. Ramon Guico III signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the “interim management” of the farm for salt production and other related activities such as bangus or milkfish production.
Guico noted a salt crisis and the provincial government made an effort to respond to the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to contribute to national food security.
Industry experts said the country imported 93 percent of its salt requirements of 600,000 MT last year.
Pangasinan, whose name is derived from “asin,” the local term for salt, is the country’s largest producer of the condiment.
In 2021, the province produced 64,156 MT from its 1,432.4-hectare salt farms in seven towns and Alaminos City, according to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.