In its bid to further promote and draw support from stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA RFO 02) along with the City and Municipal Agriculturists (C/MAs) of Cagayan, had convened to discuss the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (PPPP) and other agricultural programs amid COVID-19.
In his message, Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo reiterated the objectives of the program, which was just launched last April 15, 2020, in the City of Ilagan, Isabela.
“We should intensify food production within our respective areas cropping systems such as crop-livestock integration as a directive to us by our Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar. Also, teach households to raise free-range chicken and practice crop-rotation in their farms,” he added.
Part of the implementation of PPPP is revitalizing urban agriculture wherein the initiative of the agency is to practice backyard gardening as an effective measure to prevent hunger among the family in observance of the community quarantine.
The DA RFO 2 had been distributing assorted vegetable seeds and seedlings in Cagayan Valley.
He also emphasized the vast roles of food security frontliners under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in ensuring available food in the province.
“We’re still thankful even in this trying times because our farmers are continuously providing food to the Filipino people. And as a way of helping them, DA management allocates 5,000 pesos cash assistance to rice farmers enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) maintaining a farm of .5 to 2 hectares,” Edillo stressed.
Edillo encouraged the participants to discuss the guidelines comprehensively to non-qualified farmers once there will be an adverse claim.
He explained that the RFFA is assistance for rice farmers affected by the drop of palay price due to the enactment of Rice Tarrification Law (RTL) and tilling 0.5 to 2 ha.
“The beneficiaries of RFFA are qualified under the Social Amelioration Program subject to the guidelines of other agencies providing cash assistance.”
He said that the distribution should commence before the end of April 2020 for the second and third batches,
“The distribution of RFFA was undertaken before the COVID 2019 for the first batch.”
Meanwhile, the amelioration program under DA is a one-time Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmer (FSRF) of 5,000 pesos intended for farmers tilling below 0.5 ha under Category B.
The fund will help farmers to use these funds for buying farm inputs in order not to hamper their farming activities and increase their production, especially during the ECQ.
Likewise, RTD for Operations Roberto C. Busania explained that RFFA would help local farmers to sustain and increase their farm productivity.
He said: “Farmer-beneficiaries must receive this assistance immediately so we can fill the gap of 87% self-sufficient food country.”
Lastly, DA allocates P811,813,000.00 funds for the Rice Resiliency Project under the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID19.
It is hoped that this budget shall contribute to the attainment of food security with the various interventions identified for immediate implementation in long term scales.
(With reports from Juliane Florague)