February 25, 2024

A total of 19,805 farmers from the 13 municipalities of Benguet have benefited from the P17,009,190.75 livelihood assistance from the Department of Agriculture Cordillera through its High Value Crops Development (HVCDP).
The assistance was distributed on Jan. 23 at the Cordillera Integrated Agricultural Research Center, Baguio Dairy Farm in Sto. Tomas, Baguio City.
The livelihood assistance consists of agricultural inputs and materials, particularly fertilizer and plastic sheets for greenhouse/tunneling purposes.
The municipalities through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturists received 500 bags fertilizers worth P561,975; 209 rolls of 9 x 90 meters of plastic sheets worth P7,668,210; 173 rolls of 9 x 45 meters plastic sheets amounting to P3,437,510; and assorted vegetable seeds worth P5,341,495.75.
Lito Mocati, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction focal person, said the livelihood assistance is a result of the post-damage needs assessment and rehabilitation plan for Typhoon Ompong-damaged areas conducted in 2018 right after the super typhoon hit the region.
Mocati said the agency’s quick response fund for 2018 amounting to P132 million was already depleted by that time, so they requested for additional funds from the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council to assist the typhoon-affected farmers in the region. The DA-CAR received P196,900,000 on October 2019 from the NDRRMC.
“Dakkel nga salamat ta adda pagnayon mi nga usaren para ti pagbiyagan ket in-inut nga makabangon kami. Salamat pay diay cellophane ta adda mausar pag-tunnel ken napuspuskol pay,” said 73-year-old Agapito Taag of the Labilab Farmers Association of Loakan, Itogon, Benguet.
Taag, a vegetable farmer and victim of the Typhoon Ompong, said it was his first time to avail of such assistance because he was well informed of the agency’s programs such as assistance to agricultural damage through their local government.
The HVCDP will be distributing similar packages of livelihood assistance to the other Cordillera provinces. Other banner programs like corn, cassava, livestock, and rice programs have also come up with assistance for distribution.
“There will be a mix of additional infrastructure and livelihood assistance for typhoons Ompong and Rosita-affected areas,” Mocati added.
In 1995, Republic Act 7900 known as the High Value Crops Development Act was created. It is an act to promote the production, processing, marketing and distribution of high value crops.
Previously, the program was called High Value Commercial Crops Program and since it was aligned with the RA 7900, the program is now known as High Value Crops Development Program.
High Value Crops Development Program is one of the banner programs of the Department of Agriculture mandated to contribute for attainment of the food self sufficiency, economic growth, and enhancement of consumer’s health and welfare.
It also promotes the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of high value crops. – Janice B. Agrifino