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“Kayo po ang mga bossing sa sakahan at pangisdaan, kaya naman ako ay umiikot sa buong bansa upang pakinggan ang inyong mga alalahanin at ideya,” Alcala said. (You are the bosses in the agriculture and fisheries sector and I am going around the country to listen to your concerns and ideas.)

The Agri chief noted the important role of small farmers and fishers in providing first-hand information that could effectively guide decision makers in the national government.

“Your participation will enable us to craft effective policies and programs that cater to the agro-fisheries sector. In this way, you can experience more how the national government, especially DA, cares for farmers and fishers,” he said.

The agricultural policies and programs of the government are also streamlined in preparation for the ASEAN economic integration in 2015, he added.

During the activity, Alcala distributed farm machineries and materials, corn, rice, and vegetable seeds, and fruit tree seedlings to the farmers associations. Five farmers also received a carabao with plow and harrow each in the grand raffle.

Organized by the Good Samaritan Farmers Association, in cooperation with the San Ildefonso Barangay Council, the event was attended by around five hundred farmers from other associations from Magalang and Mabalacat, Pampanga, Concepcion, Tarlac, and Zambales. The activity was graced by regional DA III Regional Executive Director Dr. Andrew B. Villacorta, Pampanga State Agricultural University President Dr. Honorio M. Soriano Jr., and Magalang Municipal Mayor Romulo F. Pecson.###(Jan Dacumos/AFID)

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