DA distributes P909-M agri-fishery projects in W. Visayas

DA distributes P909-M agri-fishery projects in W. Visayas

The Department of Agriculture (DA), through Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr. awarded a total of P909.68 million worth of projects to farmers, fisherfolk, and organized groups of Iloilo.

Under the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), 392 Ilonggo farmers availed P5,000.00 each from the DA Western Visayas in a program held at the Iloilo Convention Center last February 14.

Recipients are those farmers listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and cultivate two hectares or less of rice land.

The RFFA is unconditional financial assistance to farmers funded by excess tariff collection from rice importations in 2021 and 2022.

Meanwhile, the agency distributed P387,450.00 worth of fuel assistance to 123 farmers in Iloilo. A total of 17,870 farmers in Region 6 are set to benefit from the DA’s fuel subsidy, receiving P3,150.00 each. Among the provinces, Iloilo has the highest number of farmer-beneficiaries at 7,680, followed by Negros with 4,281, Antique – 2,323, Capiz – 2,064, Guimaras – 885, and Aklan with 637 farmers.

Secretary Laurel Jr. also spearheaded the turnover of KADIWA Financial Grants totaling P8.5 million to a state university and four farmers’ groups in Iloilo to support their market linkages and value-adding activities. Iloilo Science and Technology University – Iloilo City Campus, represented by President Dr. Gabriel M. Salitre Jr., received a grant of P5 million.

In contrast, Mae Gerbacia, president of the Panay Darag Chicken Breeders Association in Ajuy, Iloilo, received P1.5 million. Kooperatiba Naton Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) of Tigbauan town, represented by chairperson Maria Rosine Deogracias, was granted P1 million. Similarly, Pavia Livestock Growers Association’s president, Jonny Diane, and Pavia Entrepreneurs MPC chairperson Bethel Jagolino in Pavia, Iloilo, each received a grant of P500,000.

The KADIWA Financial Grant Assistance program ensures a continuous food supply by empowering farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) and resolving limitations encountered during and after the pandemic.

The program seeks to enhance the food distribution system by promoting reliable and efficient food commodity suppliers, increasing the number of FCAs participating in KADIWA selling activities, and fostering partnerships with private sectors and institutional buyers.

On the other hand, DA Philippine Rural Development Project Scale-Up Subprojects were awarded No Objection Letter (NOL) 1 for the Establishment of Roxas City Abattoir worth P76,305,000.00 in Capiz, improvement of San Jose Feeder Port with a project cost of P290,673,000.00 in Antique, and Rehabilitation of Brgy. Talacagay to Bacuyangan to Damutan Farm-to-Market Road with Bridge worth P518,541,000.00 for Hinobaan, Negros Occidental.

DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources imparted P2 million worth of interventions to Iloilo fisherfolk cooperators. The fishery projects, which included 180 sets of fishing gears, 10 marine engines, and 10,000 pieces of tilapia fingerlings, were intended to benefit 40 beneficiaries adversely affected by typhoons in the previous year.

The officials turned over the said interventions to the cooperators engaged in fishing activities to help them recover and rebuild their livelihoods.

In addition, the DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) distributed P11,246,460.00 worth of walk-behind type transplanters, riding-type transplanters, rice combine harvesters, and single pass rice mills to FCAs in Iloilo under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program.

Secretary Laurel, who also presided at the National Irrigation Administration Board Meeting, shared that the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project (JRMP) Stage II will significantly contribute to increasing rice harvests in the Province of Iloilo.

The irrigation water supply will be sufficient for an additional 9,500 hectares of irrigable areas throughout the year. The JRMP II also covers the rehabilitation of 22,340 hectares of irrigation in 23 towns and two cities in the Province of Iloilo.

“This is the first large-scale water reservoir to be constructed in Visayas and Mindanao. At ito po ang kailangan natin para ma maximize ang potential ng Western Visayas in rice production. Hindi ko po isinantabi ang potential nitong rehiyon to contribute more for rice sufficiency of our country. At talagang tututukan po namin kasama kayong mga magsasaka,” he added.

Also part of the program is the conduct of technical briefings on the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program, El Nino updates, and the Philippine Crop Insurance Program packages. (PR)


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