THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Bulacan and Pampanga farmers/fishers receive machinery and other assistance from DA

Author: DA Communications Group | 30 September 2020

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office (RFO) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 3 awarded about 90 farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and associations (FCAs) with farm machinery and livelihood assistance amounting to P125 million (M).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, RFO Director Crispulo Bautista, and BFAR Director Wilfredo Cruz led the distribution of interventions during the Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19 program held in Malolos City, Bulacan and San Fernando City, Pampanga on September 29, 2020.

“During the pandemic, we really tapped Region 3 and CALABARZON, as well as other regions to bring the food supplies to Metro Manila. Itong anim na buwan na meron tayong pandemya, gusto nating sabihin na sapat na sapat ang pagkain ng lahat ng mamamayan gawa ng pagsusumikap ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Secretary Dar said.

He also recognized the significant contribution of Bulacan and Pampanga farmers and fisherfolk in the increased production of agriculture and fishery commodities translating to the positive growth of the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector despite the pandemic.

To boost local production, P71-M worth of farm machinery and equipment such as four-wheel tractors, combine harvesters, shallow tube wells, and warehouses with dryers were awarded to 42 FCAs in Pampanga and 44 FCAs in Bulacan through the DA Rice Program.

For the fisherfolk of the two provinces, BFAR distributed P53.7-M worth of fishnets, traps, marine engines, solar lamps, milkfish, and tilapia fingerlings, aquaponics systems, venturi aeration systems, tilapia hatchery artificial incubation systems, smokehouses, and fish vending equipment, among others.

Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando and Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda both expressed their support to the programs of the DA and committed to continue elevating their local farming and fishing communities who also serve as front liners during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sa lahat ng nakatanggap ng makinarya at tatanggap pa, kayo po ang konsentrasyon ng RCEF (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) for the next 5 years at sisiguruhin po namin na kayo ay mas productive, mas competitive, at mas resilient,” Secretary Dar told the rice farmers during the event.

He added that the goal is for FCAs to be more productive and involved in the marketing of palay and even in the drying and milling of palay.

Dapat magbuklod, magsama-sama, magtulung-tulong tayo para sa ikauunlad ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” the secretary said. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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