December 2, 2022

The Department of Agriculture turned over nine hauling trucks, each worth P1.99 million, to nine farmers’ cooperatives in the Cordillera and a water well drilling rig to its regional office.

The water well drilling rig will be used for the DA’s small-scale irrigation programs, as well as shallow-tube wells and solar power irrigation for the development of groundwater systems that require drilling, to advance the rice program in the region.

The beneficiaries of the P42-M equipment are the Abra Vegetable Growers Development Cooperative, Abra Diocesan Teachers and Employees Multipurpose Cooperative (Adtempco), and the Manarabar Pias Farmers Association, all based in Abra; Apayao Seed Producers Multipurpose Cooperative, Malayugan Rice Granary Farmers Association, and Samahang Nayon ng Apayao Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc., all in Apayao; Mountain Province Heirloom Farmers; and the Buguias Japan Trainees Association and Bosigan Multipurpose Cooperative in Mankayan, both in Benguet.

Engr. Irene Bringas, Adtempco chief executive officer, thanked the DA, “because it can feel and it knows what the cooperatives in the provinces need.”

“This equipment will surely improve the lives of the members of the cooperative who will benefit the most. This will be of big help to us,” she said.

Bringas added the hauling truck would be used by the farmers and farmers’ cooperatives, which are completing a processing center and a warehouse for their produce.

Agriculture Sec.William Dar said the farmers’ cooperatives will be able to improve their condition and assure that quality and low-priced agricultural produce will reach the markets.

“Let us strengthen cooperatives not just for agricultural production, but in agri-businesses. When we link them to the markets, they will reap more and in due time will have more collection,” he said.

Dar said in every opportunity they have, the DA tries its best to help the cooperatives in terms of logistics so that they can participate in the Kadiwa in Ani at Kita program.

Aside from the hauling trucks, Dar also led the initial distribution of government assistance to more than 144,000 farmers in the region and Northern Luzon.

His three-day visit to the region also led to the distribution of 20 units of solar-powered urban aquaponics system in Baguio City and La Trinidad, Benguet.

A total of 50 aquaponics systems have been distributed in these areas as part of the urban agriculture program of the DA to allow city dwellers to produce their food. – PNA