DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Lucrecio Alviar recently approved the agency's P130 million budget and other additional funding for La Nina mitigation plan.

The province of Abra raked the biggest slice of the budget at P37,200,000 allotted for more than 6,000 hectares of identified vulnerable agricultural lands in its 27 municipalities.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Apayao, one of the food-poor provinces in the country, came close second with 5,000 hectares of identified vulnerable areas in its seven municipalities receiving P31,960,000.

Kalinga province, with 3,000 hectares of vulnerable farmlands, got the P22,720,000 allotment; Ifugao got P17,800,000; followed by Mountain Province with P12,680,000 for its 10 towns' 1,000 hectares of vulnerable farmlands.

Benguet, the most affected during last year's onslaught of Typhoon Pepeng only got P8,440,000 allocated for its 500 hectares of vulnerable farmlands in its 13 municipalities.

Among the projects considered as mitigation measures for the coming of La Nina are distribution of foliar, organic, and inorganic fertilizers totaling to around 87,500 bags. Others, like fungicides totaling to around 1,200 liters randomly distributed to the six provinces in the region, are also being considered by the agency .

Aside from farm implements, irrigation facilities, and rehabilitation of watering equipment and ripraps as erosion control amounting to P50,600,000 collectively are also being planned by the agency .

Seeds for cultivation and farmland development will also be given by the agency totaling to around 17,500 bags.

Program management trainings will also be conducted for farmers in all provinces using its P6 million budget.

With regards to high value commercial crops development, production support and provision of assorted vegetable seeds were also given by DA.

As of July 1, the DA has given P2.5 million worth of seed aid to farmers.

At least 20,000 planting materials were also distributed, amounting to P300,000, while fertilizer subsidy worth P4 million targeting 4,000 beneficiaries.

Agri-infrastructure were also given to farmers with rehabilitation of rain shelters or greenhouses already in the pipeline with 50 units being repaired by the agency, worth P750,000. (JM Agreda)