July 13, 2024

The Department of Agriculture under the Social Amelioration Program of the national government has allocated P149,960,000 to be distributed to 29,992 Covid-19 affected farmers in the Cordillera under the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance program.

In the weekly Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Regional Task Force Covid-19 coordination meeting last week, DA Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey reported their office already disbursed through the Land Bank of the Philippines a total of P21,595,000 for the P5,000 SAP assistance to 4,319 initial farmer-beneficiaries.

Odsey said 4,240 farmers in the region have availed of the DA’s Expanded Survival and Recovery (E-SURE) program that offers P25,000 no-interest, no collateral loan to marginalized small farmers. The loans released amounted to P72,025,000.

Under the E-SURE, DA-Cordillera allocated P106 million for 6,749 target beneficiaries.

DA-Cordillera also has food security programs under the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa Covid-19 that focuses on food production, availability, accessibility, and affordability and price stability.

Odsey reported under the Rice Resiliency Project, DA-Cordillera has a total allocation of P261,926,000 that targets to help 140,000 farmers and increase rice sufficiency level by distributing high quality seeds and fertilizers for an estimated 68,047 hectares of rice land in the region.

To date, 2,500 farmers were already assisted with a total disbursement of P112,437,000.

Another program is the Urban Agriculture and Revitalized Gulayan sa Barangay/Backyard Gardening project that so far assisted 35,631 households.

DA-Cordillera has a budget of P12.09M for vegetable seeds, seedlings, and saplings for distribution to households. 

DA’s Kadiwa on Wheels has also sold 20.078 metric tons of assorted vegetables with P756,920 sales generated while the Kadiwa Express that assisted in linking farmers groups to LGUs, government institutions, and NGOs sold 568.85 metric tons of assorted vegetables with around P17.15M sales generated.

The Kadiwa Retail Store at the DA regional office already sold 10.21MT of assorted vegetables from five farmers groups and generated P737,591 total sales.

The agency also conducts regular price monitoring through the Bantay Presyo monitoring team in partnership with the different local price monitoring councils in the region, Odsey added. – Carlito C. Dar