Thousands of farmers and fisherfolk affected by calamities, including those whose hogs were culled or died due to the African Swine Fever (ASF), have received various forms of assistance worth P1.9 billion to rebuild their farms, and acquire new livestock.
The Department of Agriculture through its regional field offices (RFOs) has released an initial P1.9 billion from the agency’s quick response fund (QRF) to help affected farmers, fishers and hog raisers recover from their losses and start anew.
“The big chunk of the QRF budget went to indemnify ASF-affected hog raisers in 2019.”
“The big chunk of the QRF budget went to indemnify ASF-affected hog raisers in 2019 and early this year, and farmers and fishers whose crops, livestock animals, and aquaculture projects were damaged by typhoons and the eruption of Taal Volcano,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
In a report to Dar, Field Operations Service director Roy Abaya said P733 million was used to indemnify ASF-affected hog raisers, P567M was given to farmers and fisherfolk affected by three typhoons (‘Tisoy,’ ‘Ursula’ and ‘Ambo’) and P463-M worth of farm and fishery inputs and technical assistance were extended to those disrupted by the eruption of Taal Volcano.
Abaya added that from the QRF, the DA also allotted P150M to control and contain ‘Fall Army Worm’ corn infestation, and P28.4M to assist drought-affected farmers in Region 2.
“Using the QRF, we were able to respond immediately.”
“Using the QRF, we were able to respond immediately to help affected farmers and fisherfolk recover and bounce back from adversities caused by natural calamities,” the agriculture chief said.
The agriculture head urged the DA regional executive directors to always be proactive to cushion the impact of natural disasters on the lives of farmers, fishers and their families, and the subsequent pressure on domestic food production and supply.
“Learning from our experience under the COVID-19 regime, we must always remain vigilant on the challenges that threaten our food security, be it natural or man-made. Hence, we will vigorously work on further boosting domestic food production and the entire value chain, in general,” he concluded.