Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar arrived in Bohol on Monday to lead the turnover of cash aid and launching of livelihood programs in the province.
Dar led the ceremonial turnover of financial aid to around 100 farmers at the Bohol Island State University (BISU) gymnasium in Tagbilaran City as part of the DA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA).
He was accompanied by Governor Art Yap and DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa.
Dar said the DA allocated P267.7 million for 52,818 rice farmers in the province through the RCEF-RFFA.
Under the program, each registered rice farmer will get P5,000.
Through the RCEF-RFFA, the DA provides financial assistance to rice farmers as compensation for the projected reduction of farm income arising from the tariffication on rice.
Dar acknowledged the efforts of rice farmers on agricultural productivity which has been at an all-time highest in the past two years.
He added that rice yield which was at 19.2 million metric tons in 2020 further increased in 2021 to 19.9 million.
“Ang magandang epekto or outcome in the past two years. Simula 2020, we recorded the highest rice production level in the country kaya palakpakan natin ang rice farmers kasi sila yung nagsusumikap,” said Dar.
Dar also appealed for strengthened partnership between the DA and local government units in improving the agriculture sector particularly amid the implementation of the Mandanas ruling which bestows on LGUs bigger budget share and responsibilities.
“Ngayon, yung Mandanas ruling na nagbibigay ng kadagdagan na pondo para sa LGUs sana nga gamitin ng nila na dagdag sa regular IRA para sa sapat na provincial budget para ma suportahan ang sektor ng agrikultara, para ang probinsya ay magiging food secure,” he said.
DA projects in Bohol
According to Dar, the DA has allocated a total of P1.67 billion for Bohol through various programs.
He added that the DA has also appealed to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for P150 million as assistance to farmers in Bohol in the aftermath of Typhoon “Odette” which ravage the province’s agriculture sector.
The DA will also be extending a P500-million fuel subsidy for corn farmers and fishermen.
After the ceremony at BISU, Dar also led the launching of the Kadiwa on Wheels at the Old Tagbilaran City Airport which showcases fruits from Davao, Cagayan de Oro and other parts of Mindanao which are being sold at lower prices.
Among the products sold at the showcase center include durian, marang, pomelo, rambutan and various root crops.
The Kadiwa on Wheels was participated by the Agbu Farmers’ Association, Davao Farmers’ Cooperative, First Consolidated Cooperative ug sa Ulay Argo Enterprises. (RT)