February 6, 2023

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Gov. Melchor Diclas said the provincial government earmarked P3.2 million to help  affected cutflower and vegetable farmers as part of its economic recovery program on agriculture for those affected  by  the Covid-19 pandemic.
Diclas said at least 50 affected cutflower and vegetable farmers in every municipality will benefit from the assistance.
“Sila po ang inuuna natin bigyan ng ayuda para po makapagsimula ulit sila,” he said during an interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar in the Laging Handa network briefing on July 16.
Cutflower farmers who are the most affected as they were not able to sell during the enhanced community quarantine will receive P5,000 each while vegetable farmers like those whose crops were not sold will be granted P2,500 each, according to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG).
Financial assistance for some farmers in Sablan, Buguias, Kapangan, and La Trinidad whose documents are complete are already on process.
Requirements are certification from the punong barangay that they did not receive any government assistance and attachment of certified photocopy of identification card.
Earlier, the Department of Agriculture released loans to affected cutflower growers in some parts of the province. The loan amount is P25,000 at zero interest rate with no collateral requirements and is payable within 10 years. The amount is intended to help them recover from the effects of the ECQ, start their farm operations, or invest in other ventures.
For the African Swine Fever-hit areas, the DA extended P2.8M assistance to affected swine raisers and were advised to shift to poultry production.
Asked on new of varieties of potato being propagated in Benguet, Diclas said research studies on the imported potato varieties which started in the past administration are ongoing, focusing on the production of potatoes with lesser moisture content ideal for fries demanded mostly by fast food chains.
Diclas said Buguias and the OPAG are continuously doing research studies on other potato varieties. – Susan C. Aro