Cayetano meets Sta. Rita farmers-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
STA. RITA — Senator Alan Peter Cayetano met with farmer groups at Andy’s Farm in Barangay San Agustin here over the weekend, in order to get insights on agricultural woes.
Cayetano said the event is part of his Listening Tours with various sectors in the country from laborers, businessmen, farmers and the like. Cayetano discussed possible programs and interventions for farmers while eating lunch with farmers.
In a meeting with the local press after the event, Cayetano said there is a need to balance the policies on importation of rice as well as the support given to farmers and their beneficiaries.
Cayetano also expressed dismay over reports stating that despite a10-percent increase in foreign direct investments (FDI), the agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors are still lagging behind.
In fact these did not receive any FDI in the third quarter of 2012 which is a stark contrast to the P960 million it received as FDI in 2011.
“We need growth that is felt by all families, not only big businesses, but also small enterprises as well as various demographics, especially farmers,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said that the government must increase farmers’ access to capital by making loans available to existing cooperatives and small businesses.
“Instead of paying 20 percent to ‘5-6’ lenders to rent equipment and buy seeds and fertilizer, farmer cooperatives will only have to pay 3 to 5 percent in interest,” Cayetano said.
He also proposed that these cooperatives be supported by the government to enable them to acquire small-scale post-harvest facilities.
“These will hopefully address the inefficiencies in agricultural production and help in improving the state of our farmers. This will help boost their income and help uplift the lives of their families,” Cayetano added.
Farmer Hipolito Mangiliman, 71, said he was touched by the gesture of Cayetano of visiting local farmers here. He said it was their first time to meet a senator who has concrete plans for the development of their sector.
Cayetano is running on a platform centered on addressing issues related to PTK.
He presented his platform to address poverty at a grand launch in Taguig City University over the weekend, attended by 3,000 people from various sectors.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 17, 2013.