A GROUP of Army Agricultural Engineers (AAE) will be created in order to help revive Marawi City’s agricultural industry, this after President Rodrigo Duterte mandated forming such during his recent visit to Biliran province after it was hit by Tropical Storm Urduja.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) will form AAE group which will be the one to assist in the rehabilitation and recovery efforts of agriculture industry in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.
In a post by DA Secretary Manny Piñol in his official Facebook page, he and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will “work together to implement the agriculture and fisheries rehabilitation program in the conflict-affected areas.”
Piñol added that the DND through the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be the one to choose soldiers deployed in the area and who already have existing knowledge in operating farm equipment such as tractors, planters, harvesters, and threshers. They will be reassigned to the new AAE group.
The farm equipment, which will be used to serve the needs of the farmers in the area for free, will be provided by DA. “If a town needs the services of the tractors, the mayor will have to ask the Army Agricultural Engineers for the equipment,” said Piñol in his post adding that the DA will also provide additional assistance such as white corn seeds, rice seeds, and farm inputs.
With the use of the agricultural equipment to be coursed through AAE, Duterte said this will stop the irregularities in the past wherein the seeds and equipment that were supposed to be used for the benefits of the farmers and fisherfolks end up in the hands of local politicians using these for personal benefits.
“President Duterte said that entrusting the farm equipment and machineries and the operations to the Army Agricultural Engineers will ensure that these will be used properly and the farmers and fisherfolk will be truly benefited,” said Piñol in his post.