THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Dar delivers commitments for 1st 100 days

Author: DA Communications Group | 19 November 2019

The Department of Agriculture, led by Secretary William Dar, has accomplished and delivered various commitments and initiatives in the first 100 days in office, despite major challenges that the agency has faced and continues to surmount.

“Truth be told, the first 100 days have not been easy. We inherited a sector, which has erratically grown in the past decades, compounded with current major issues like low palay prices,” the DA chief said.

“Further, our national poverty remains high, particularly in marginal agriculture and fishery areas,” he added.

As a servant-leader, Secretary Dar introduced a new paradigm to develop the country’s agriculture and fishery sector, attain a food-secure Philippines, and double the incomes of small farmers and fisherfolk in five years.

“The new thinking for agriculture departs from the previous view that treats the sector as a mere production base. Instead, we should link agriculture with agribusiness, food processing, packaging and other economic sectors,” the agri chief said.

On ensuring the proper and efficient implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), the DA committed to fast track the various components and interventions under the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

“We have started the RCEF seed distribution, conducted trainings, bidding for machineries alongside the validation of farmers’ cooperatives, and processing and granting of loans,” Secretary Dar noted.

“The RTL is both a challenge and an opportunity to transform our traditional rice lands into modern farming communities through the annual P10-billion resources that RCEF provides,” he added.

In enhancing partnership with the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector, he said the DA has enlisted the strong support of LGU officials and private sector groups, particularly to prop up prices of palay, and manage, control and contain ASF.

He also provided updates on the Pantawid Magsasaka Program—an unconditional cash transfer program to compensate farmers who incurred losses due to the falling prices of palay; and the two financing programs, BuyANIhan (a working capital loan for farmers’ cooperatives or associations to buy palay directly from farmers, and process and market the rice to institutional buyers); and the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers or SURE Aid (that extends a one-time, zero interest P15,000 financial aid to rice farmers with farm area of one-hectare or less, payable in eight years).

“We have made a strong beginning – but we have only begun,” Dar said, as he laid out new commitments for the succeeding months.

Moving on, he committed to pursue imperatives with greater vigor and laser-like focus to enable Filipino farmers and fishers, particularly the small, to be prosperous and transform them into agri-entrepreneurs. ### (Rita dela Cruz, DA Communications Group)

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Reference:
Noel Ocampo Reyes
DA Spokesperson
and A/Sec for Communications
and Media Affairs
CP: 09204889686
Landline: 89298183
 

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