CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The Provincial Government on Tuesday distributed some P22 million to support farmers in Pampanga who had been affected by typhoons since 2015.
The assistance was part of the World Bank-funded Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) and the P21.969 million given to 22 cooperatives and associations of farmers came in the form of rice seeds, tractors and planting implement.
According to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist officer-in-charge Edelberto Salenga, at least 11 more cooperatives are set to receive P10.825 million worth of the same assistance from the program being implemented by the Department of Agriculture.
Elma Mananes, PRDP deputy director of the North Luzon Cluster, thanked Governor Lilia Pineda, Vice Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda and the Provincial Board for prioritizing agricultural development and approving a counterpart of P4.2 million to the project.
Mananes congratulated farmers for complying with the requirements and qualifying for assistance. Only 33 of 200 registered farmers' cooperatives and associations in Pampanga qualified, Salenga said.
"You do not have to pay us anything since it will be the government which will take care of the loan. With this, we expect your income to increase by 30 percent," Mananes told the farmers.
It is also through the PRDP that a P48-million farm-to-market road is being built in Barangay San Jose Castuli in Macabebe town, she said.
Provincial Board Member Ananias Canlas, Jr., chair of board's agriculture committee, emphasized the importance of farmers and fisherfolk because they produce food for the people.
"Doing mechanized farming not only increases food production. It should also draw more youth into farming," Canlas said.
Provincial Board Member Cherry Manalo said farmers should continue to trust the leadership of the Pinedas because they have prioritized the needs of farmers in the capitol's programs.