THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will scrap the fees on irrigation system required of farmers in Cebu and Bohol.
DA 7 Director Salvador “Salva” Desputado said that the farmers should be given free water from the government’s irrigation system.
He said that right now, President Rodrigo Duterte, through the DA secretary, is working on the food security program of the country, and along this line is the DA program to reformat the agricultural sector.
“Under this reformative program, we are conducting a change in our policies in agriculture. For example, we are now conducting research on the color-coding system which tells us which crop is ideal on which kind of soil,” Deputado said.
Included in the program is the forecasting of weather so that the farmers will be guided on what crop to plant on what month of the year.
“This is a very innovative approach to agriculture because this is not anymore a wait and see attitude. This is now scientifically-based agriculture to give farmers a good chance to plant at least twice a year with proper guidance from science,” Deputado said.
At the same time, Deputado said, his office will encourage farmers to plant high-value crops instead of the usual rice and corn.
“We cannot anymore compete with our Asian neighbors especially with the Asean (Association of South East Asian Nation) economic integration,” Deputado said.
Last year, the National Statistics Authority (NSA) reported a low contribution of the agricultural sector to Region 7’s gross regional domestic product.