DA gives cash aid to CAR farmers affected by Maring

November 1, 2021 Cory Martinez 84 views

RICE and vegetable farmers in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) who were affected by Typhoon Maring can now start to recover their losses after receiving at least P556,345,158 in financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

DA Secretary William Dar led the OneDA family in the awarding of various assistance during the launching of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program in Baguio City last week.

“The Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) is one of the best reforms that have happened today. The bottom line of RTL that also provides RCEF is to make the rice farmers very competitive para puwede tayong makipagtunggali sa rice farmers sa iba’t ibang bansa,” Dar said adding that the cost of palay production will be at the level of P7/kilogram at the end of the six-year implementation period.

Through the RFFA, rice farmers enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) with landholdings of two hectares and below will receive unconditional cash assistance worth P5,000.

The program will benefit 65,836 Cordillera rice farmers with a total cash assistance amounting to P329.18 million In partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and SquidPay Technology, Inc., the DA-CAR Regional Field Office will start distributing to the beneficiaries the Interventions Monitoring Card (IMC) that serves as an identification card and cash card.

Dar also disclosed that other salient interventions that must be further funded and supported to make local farmers more competitive such as drying facilities and other post-harvest facilities, use of biofertilizers and biopesticides, and mass labeling of vegetables and fruits for food safety.

“Let’s make our vegetable production more efficient. Let’s lessen the cost of producing a kilo of any vegetables. That’s the only way for the long term we can be competitive with the rest of the world,” he said.

During the event, Dar also awarded check and cash assistance for the calamity-affected farmers and fisherfolk in the region. The DA-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) approved a credit fund amounting to P10 million for the Lengaoan Indigenous Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative as lending conduit under the Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project.

Small farmers and fishers may avail of P20,000 interest-free loans without collateral and payable for 10 years through the SURE Program. Polyethylene plastic sheets and various vegetable seeds worth P1,285,750 were also distributed as initial assistance under the region’s recovery program.

“Hindi po nagpapabaya ang gobyerno na tumutulong at nakahandang sumuporta sa lahat ng mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Dar said.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), on the other hand, paid P3,165,821 for the indemnity and claims for rice, corn, high-value crops, livestock, and credit and life term insurance.

Other interventions awarded during Dar’s visit in CAR include 50 units of aquaponics system worth P2.75 million from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); eight hauling trucks and two refrigerated vans amounting to P21.44 million from the banner programs of DA-CAR, and P22 million-worth truck-mounted water well drilling rig and support equipment.

Dar underscored the importance of collective action and urged farmers to join cooperatives that are active both in the production and marketing of commodities and eventually in value-adding activities.