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Feature: Agri sector enjoys better lives through PGMA years

Iloilo (26 January) -- The agriculture sector has seen better lives enjoyed for farmers, their families, including even the indigenous and the landless these past nine years, under the Arroyo Administration.

In a report comparing the accomplishments of three Presidents, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, the agriculture sector indicators along land distribution through agrarian reform, distribution of ancestral domain, irrigated areas, palay yield, buying price of palay and loans to farmers and fisherfolk, have fared well under the Arroyo presidency.

In the last nine years, the government has distributed 1.8 million hectares from 2001, 867,844 hectares of government land as against the 523,000 hectares from 1998-2000, which has encouraged farmers to be self-sufficient, besides providing land to the landless.

The previous administrations had no record of distribution of ancestral domain, while the Arroyo administration has issued 141 certificates for 3.5 hectares and 238 certificates approved for 12,000 hectares.

The same report said that the intervention on rural infrastructure, technology and farm support have encouraged the farmers to be more productive, hence increased palay yield per hectare from 3.07 metric tons to 3.63 metric tons forecast for 2009, despite the calamities that affected the sector.

With the government's increase of the buying price of palay from P8.50 per kilo in 2000 to P17 per kilo, the farmers' income increased, as they were also encouraged to be more productive, besides the fact that it also stabilized market prices of rice.

The Arroyo administration, the report continues, has irrigated 1.8 million hectares as of 2009 to boost production, despite the country's experience of adverse weather and scarcity of water.

Much more, the report said, government has also encouraged self-sufficiency, made livelihood available by having facilitated higher Land Bank loans to farmers and fisher folk from P97 Billion as of 2000, to P150 billion in nine years.

On top of this, the DA reports that with the government's speedy interventions through the FIELDS program in the wake of disasters in the last two years, the agriculture sector has remained vibrant and upbeat. (PIA6/ESS) [top]

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