Agriculture Secretary William Dar announced today, December 8, that P768 million in interventions to assist farmers and boost the agricultural growth of Negros Occidental will be allocated in 2021.
Dar, who was in Negros Occidental today, December 8, to turnover P453,147, 588 in projects and assistance to farmers and fisherfolk, said the Department of Agriculture’s interventions are geared towards helping farmers become competitive.
Farm machineries will continue to be given to farmers groups in Negros Occidental annually, said Dar, who spoke before the farmer recipients at the Panaad Covered Court in Bacolod City.
The DA’s goal is to lower farmers’ production costs and raise their productivity, he said.
Dar pointed out that agriculture was the only sector that registered positive growth in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the second quarter, the country’s agriculture sector grew by 1.6 percent and in the third quarter by 1.2 percent despite the COVID-19 lockdowns, he said.
“The aim is to ensure the country’s food security…in due time we will be able to produce 100 percent if not near 100 percent of our food requirements,” he said.
He stressed that the country cannot fight COVID-19 if it does not have enough food for its people.
Dar turned over in Negros Occidental today farm machineries worth P206,817,000, cash and food assistance to 34,000 farmers and fisherfolk – P170 million, a cattle feedlot fattening project in Binalbagan – P5 million, KADIWA financial assistance – P50,000, crop insurance for 762 farmers – P3,857,715, two bridges in Cadiz City – P60,384,373, and projects for the Central Philippine State University in Kabankalan City – P 7,038,500.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the assistance from the DA will provide the needed boost to improve production, optimize income capacity, and mitigate the debilitating effects of the pandemic on the agricultural sector.
At today’s Panaad rites Dar also turned over the certificate of registration of the Negros First Info Tech farm school to Lacson.
The farm school support and the scholarship grants will give the needed encouragement and empowerment to the younger generation to take a serious interest in farming, Lacson said.*