AFTER the El Niño alert of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on May 2, 2023, the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU), through Provincial Agriculturist Office, assured the public that the province is food sufficient amidst the El Niño threat.

Planning Officer IV JP Roma Duque said during the Kapihan sa Ilocos segment on May 12, that the province has more than 300 percent sufficient to leaf vegetables, 200 percent sufficient for fruit vegetables and 125 percent sufficient for rice.

Duque added that the good production of agricultural products in the province is the result of the collective efforts of the provincial government to implement programs that help farmers with their livelihood.

One of the programs they are currently conducting is the agricultural production support, which they dubbed as the "Pacoy Project" or the Production Assistance for Commodities Optimum Yield, wherein farmers are given seeds and organic and inorganic fertilizers as a starter.

There is also a distribution of vegetable seeds and seedlings for propagation.

The province is also giving subsidy which amount depends on the selling price of each products under Palay Marketing Assistance program for the farmers.

Fisherfolks are also supported by the province through fingerlings distribution and sap-sap project or the alternative fishery programs like giving fishing paraphernalia.

To sustain the good agricultural practices and for the furtherance of the farming and fishing abilities of the farmers and fisherfolks, the provincial government has a lineup of trainings and seminars.

Also, interested farmers can undergo techno demo to learn the different varieties of crops through the La Union champ project.

“Huwag po kayo mag alala ating mga ka probinsyaan dahil hindi po tayo magugutom. Patuloy pa rin po ang pag provide ng PGLU para sa ating mga farmers and fisherfolks para mapaigting pa ang ating anihan at maging sustainable ang ating ekonomiya,” said Duque.

Further, to show appreciation to all the farmers and fisherfolks, the province celebrates the "Bulan iti Mannalon ken Mangngalap" or the Farmers and Fisherfolks Month with the theme "ProbinsyANIHAN: Pasingkedan ti Bileg ken Timpuyog dagiti Mannalon ken Mangngalap (Fueling empowerment and unity towards farmers and fisherfolks)."

The "Probinsyanihan" is the strategy being used by the current adminstration which was originally coined from "probinsya" or province and "bayanihan" or camaraderie, but for the sake of the farmers and fisherfolks month, the "probinsyanihan" highlights "anihan" which means reap.

The month-long celebration of Farmers and Fisherfolks month was started on May 5 and will end on May 31. (PIA)