February 25, 2024

The Department of Agriculture is seeking a P284.4-billion budget for 2021, more than thrice its current budget of P79.9B.
“The agri-fishery sector, for the longest time, has been a ‘sleeping giant’ of the national economy, whose vast potentials remain largely untapped to achieve higher and sustainable growth,” said Sec. William Dar during a teleconference with the House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture and Food, chaired by Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga on July 8.
“While the agriculture sector contributes about 10 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), it gets a measly share of total national appropriations, at three to five percent in the last 10 years,” Dar said.
The proposed budget will bankroll existing and new DA programs and projects in 2021, amounting to P61.8B and P222.6B, respectively.
“The stakes are high. If we were to ensure that agriculture contributes its full potentials in the country’s economic recovery in the ‘new normal,’ we need to augment the DA budget,” he added.
“Given our current resources, the sector will continue to perform poorly if not given the proper financial support,” he said.
In 2021, the DA aims to further increase the production of major commodities, with respective proposed budget for rice, P56B; fisheries, P22.5B; high-value crops, P13.7B; livestock and poultry, P11.2B; and corn, P6.6B.
It also intends to spend P130B to bankroll locally-funded projects, construction of farm-to-market roads, implementation of national soil health and young farmers’ programs; P7.15B as counterpart for foreign-assisted projects such as the Philippine Rural Development Project; market development services, P3B; and organic agriculture, P960.4 million.
“In all, the budget is intended to sustain, reboot, and grow the Philippine agriculture and fisheries sector, amid the challenges brought by the pandemic and into the new normal. We, therefore, seek your highest approval of our budget proposal for the coming year,” Dar told the lawmakers. – DA release