More than 700 farmers of the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto received their Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA), all worth P3.5 million, in a ceremonial turnover led by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Department of Agriculture regional executive director, Remelyn Recoter, in Brgy. Bunga of the town Feb. 3.
The RFFA from the DA provides financial assistance to rice farmers as compensation to the projected reduction of farm income arising from the tariffication on rice.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, led by Dr. Dina Genzola, facilitated the distribution of the cash assistance to the farmer-beneficiaries, a press release from the Capitol said. The farmers also received high value crop seeds.
Meanwhile, as part of the ongoing efforts of the government to ensure sufficient supply of safe, quality, and affordable food, the DA has sealed separate partnerships with three private entities, which share the same vision towards sustainable food items for Filipinos across the country.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar signed three memoranda of agreement with the Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and Pilmico Foods Corporation, TriMerA Integrated Farm, and the SM Super Malls, focused on the establishment of various urban agriculture projects.
Under the partnership with DA, TriMerA will identify an area suitable for rabbit production and train personnel who will also serve as trainors to other enthusiasts in the future. TriMera will sustain the operation of the project through the dissemination of new stocks from the project beneficiaries, and lead the marketing and distribution of the produce.
The DA, together with Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Animal Industry, and National Livestock Program will provide starter kits, IEC materials and extension/education support in coordination with the Agricultural Training Institute, a press release said.
SM Supermalls, under a separate agreement, will take the lead in the establishment of a food garden, which aims to serve as source of safe, accessible, and affordable food to households and communities in the urban areas. The garden will also provide additional income to project participants, who will undergo training and capacity enhancement from DA, through ATI.
To address the social and economic needs of various stakeholders, the DA, Aboitiz, and Pilmico concurred to work together to attain a food-secure and resilient Philippines with prosperous and empowered farmers and fishers, by setting up livelihood projects by building urban and peri-urban gardens.
Under the agreement, Aboitiz and Pilmico will provide packages for egg and swine production, and aquaponics farming systems. — NND