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PIA Press Release

Agri secretary launches PGMA's FIELDS program in Leyte

Tacloban City (August 29) -- Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap launched this morning, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's FIELDS program at Alang-alang, a rice producing municipality in the province of Leyte.

Secretary Yap turned over a flatbed mechanical drier to the officers and members of the Lateral-A Farmers Irrigators System Cooperative of Barangay Hubay, in the presence of Alang Alang Mayor Loreto Yu and the municipal and barangay chairmen from the different barangays in Alang Alang. Also present were Waray Partylist Representative Bembem Noel, DA 8 Director Leo Caneda and the Regional Directors of the DA attached agencies like NFA, BFAR, NIA, FIDA and PCIC.

Lateral-A Farmers Irrigators System Cooperative is composed of 372 out of the 399 farmers in the area and servicing about 527 hectares of farmlands in the barangay which is located about three kilometers away from the town proper of Alang Alang.

As he expressed his gratitude for the flatbed mechanical dryer which is one of the three which will be given to the municipality by the Department of Agriculture, Mayor Entong Yu said that the flatbed mechanical dryer will be very helpful to the farmers in the barangay especially during the rainy season.

Secretary Yap, before proceeding to Tacloban for the First Regional Coconut Summit, had a dialogue with the farmers where he entertained the farmers' questions.

FIELDS stands for Fertilizer, Irrigation and Infrastructure, Extension and education, Loans and insurance, Dryer and other post harvest facilities, and Seeds, the six assistance packages of the food production drive introduced by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The six packages which are the essential ingredients in making food abundant, accessible and affordable, is a manifestation of the President's genuine commitment to helping increase and stabilize the supply of rice in the country, as well as to deliver targeted subsidies to the poor who are most directly affected by the global price increases.

The FIELDS program which the President unveiled President in her keynote address during the National Food Summit held in April at the Fontana Convention Center at Clark, is an intensified food production program aimed at strengthening the country's ability to provide food for its citizens through a series of efficient and budget-friendly food production modules.

On dryers and other post-harvest facilities, the Department of Agriculture was instructed to establish appropriate integrated processing and trading centers in collaboration with the private sector, like the cold chain system and rice and corn processing centers. The government will spend P2 billion on this from budget and off-budget sources. (PIA 8) [top]

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