Mindanao to get bigger slice of Agriculture budget-A A +A
Monday, October 29, 2012
THE biggest chunk of the Department of Agriculture's (DA) budget for 2013 will go to Mindanao, a top official of DA said during the opening of 14th Davao Trade Expo (DATE) last week.
DA Secretary Proceco Alcala, is a message read for him by DA assistant for livestock Davinio Catbagan, of the proposed P75 billion budget for 2013, at least 40 percent will go to Mindanao farmers, or around P30 billion.
This budget will be allocated mostly to develop infrastructure projects that will help to spruce up the processing facilities and will open up easy access to markets for the farmers.
The infrastructure projects will center more on improving irrigation systems and farm-to-market roads.
Alcala said projects for farmers of aquaculture products will also be prioritized, as the department will set up a community-based hatchery for high-value marine species.
Providing more postharvest facilities for high-value crops will also take part of P30-billion budget, which will include trading posts, grains centers and cold storage plants for Mindanao.
"With bigger funds, we aim to carry out better infrastructure projects," Alcala said in his message.
Catbagan earlier said a triple-A abattoir will be put in place in Davao City under the government's flagship Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
The premiere slaughter house will cost about P70 million, in which DA will pour out some investments but to be managed by a private group.
Through the triple-A abattoir, backyard hog raisers can come up with meat products at par with international standards and at the same time extract skin and pork fats, which are necessary to produce some staples like meat processed foods such as hotdogs and corned beef.
Alcala also said Filipino farmers must take advantage on the fact that the country is free from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and bird flu or the avian influenza in poultry, much more in Mindanao wherein typhoons seldom make landfall and having a vast land suitable for raising animals.
"Such freedom must be tapped in order to boost our exports, and create better income and livelihood opportunities in our communities," Alcala said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 29, 2012.