The Department of Agriculture (DA) said the country’s agri-fishery sector – buoyed by the Duterte administration’s Plant, Plant, Plant program – has been performing well amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We continue to elevate our game to sustainably feed the country’s growing population under the ‘new normal’ and ensure the survival and recovery of our agri-fishery sector from this momentary setback due to the pandemic,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have made efficient use of half of our P64-billion 2020 budget.”
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have made efficient use of half of our P64-billion 2020 budget, including the P8.5-billion Rice Resiliency Project, in providing needed interventions and assistance to millions of farmers, fishers, their families and urban households nationwide,” said Dar.
Under the Plant, Plant, Plant program, the DA has thus far provided the following:
· Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) – P8.5B;
· Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) and Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers (FSRF) – P5.9B;
· Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – P10B;
· Gross sales generated by all modes of Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita – P 5.5B;
· Direct procurement by LGUs from farmers and fishers – P2.6B;
· Urban agriculture – P200M; and
· Expanded Sure AID credit recovery program, benefiting 1,188,650 farmers; and 32,354 marginal, small farmers and fishers and 97 micro and small enterprises – P1.49B.
Under the RRP, inbred and hybrid seeds good for 717,377 hectares and 1,142,090 bags of urea fertilizer were delivered to drop off points serving more than one million farmer-beneficiaries.
The RCEF program has benefited around 1.5 million farmers and cooperatives.
The P10-B RCEF program, now on its second year of implementation, has benefited around 1.5 million farmers and cooperatives.
To date, under the RCEF seeds and farm mechanization components, 2,829,323 bags of certified inbred seeds were distributed to 1,192,090 farmers; and 2,938 farm machineries were awarded to 625 farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs).
For RCEF credit component, through LandBank and DBP, P1B has been loaned out to 5,671 individual farmers and 22 FCAs.
For RCEF training and extension, through the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and TESDA, 14,098 scholarships were granted to deserving agri students and 45 farm schools were established, with 18,350 specialists and farmers trained.
The Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program has served 1,521,133 households, and has so far generated more than P5.5 billion in sales, equivalent to the value of produce of thousands of farmers and fishers.
Further, 442 LGUs procured directly from farmers and fishers for their food packs, generating P2.6B in sales.
The DA’s urban agriculture program, led by the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and ATI, has served 821,015 individuals and households, and 463 LGUs, and provided 23,304 live animals to 304 households for backyard raising and livelihood enterprise. Through the program, 2,256,034 individuals benefited from the training and advisories on urban farming.