P161M cash aid awaits 32K rice farmers in Negros Oriental

CROPPING SEASON. Rice fields are being prepared for the next cropping season in this undated photo, which will start sometime in the second quarter of 2024. The Department of Agriculture in Negros Oriental said some 32,000 rice farmers will receive PHP5,000 cash assistance in February while seeds and fertilizers will be distributed later.
CROPPING SEASON. Rice fields are being prepared for the next cropping season in this undated photo, which will start sometime in the second quarter of 2024. The Department of Agriculture in Negros Oriental said some 32,000 rice farmers will receive PHP5,000 cash assistance in February while seeds and fertilizers will be distributed later. PNA FILE PHOTO

DUMAGUETE CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to distribute some PHP161 million in cash assistance to over 32,000 farmers in Negros Oriental starting in February, an official said on Wednesday.

Alejandro Rafal, DA-Provincial Agriculture Technology Coordinating Office (PATCO), said in an interview that the money has already been downloaded to the province and is ready for distribution to the farmers through the different local government units (LGUs).

“The amount is from the 2023 allocation which arrived only in the last week of December 2023,” Rafal said.

He said they are awaiting the final validation lists of the farmer-beneficiaries from the LGUs as some of them may have been delisted, or have relocated, or are no longer in the rice-growing sector.

So far, almost 20,000 rice farmers have already been identified and verified by the LGUs.

Based on the previous year’s list, around 32,200 rice farmers had also received a similar cash assistance of PHP5,000 each from the agency, he added.

Meanwhile, Rafal said they are now in the process of procuring rice seeds amounting to about PHP40 million for distribution to farmers this year.

Fertilizers and machinery have been also programmed for distribution beginning March this year or before the planting season. (PNA)

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