GMA delivers on FIELDS agenda
Manila (21 June) -- The Arroyo administration has delivered on its commitment to increase the country's food security and sufficiency levels through its flagship program for the agriculture and fisheries sector dubbed FIELDS, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday.
FIELDS stands for the six areas of agriculture where the government has been channelling its support to on the Arroyo watch?Fertilizer; Irrigation and other rural infrastructure; Extension and education services for farmers; Loans; Dryers and other postharvest facilities; and Seeds and other genetic materials.
Agriculture Secretary Bernie G..Fondevilla said the accomplishments of the Arroyo administration with regard to this flagship program is chronicled in a book titled ?FIELDS OF GLORY,? which was launched in June 18 at the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management Convention Hall in Quezon City.
This FIELDS book project was tackled by Secretary Bernie Fondevilla during a recent Management Committee or ManCom meeting at the DA central office in Quezon City.
FIELDS was unveiled by the President during the DA-sponsored National Food Summit at the Clark Special Economic Zone in Pampanga in April 2008.
Fondevilla said that among the accomplishments of the Arroyo administration under FIELDS and its various farm programs are the following:
For the Fertilizer component, the DA provided 1,380 technology packages on environment- friendly, community-based composting facilities under the Support System for the Tipod Abono Fertilization Program. Out of the 1,380 packages, 428 or 31 percent were distributed in the Mindanao Agribusiness Super Region, 315 in the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, 430 in Central Philippines, 204 in the Urban Luzon Beltway and 3 in the National Capital Region (NCR).
For Irrigation and other rural infrastructure, about P79.7 billion has been released for the restoration and rehabilitation of national and communal irrigation systems nationwide, generating 140,042 hectares of new areas. A total of 1,480,826 hectares located in the four super regions were also restored and rehabilitated.
The government also constructed since 2001, a total of 18,929 kilometers of farm-to-market roads worth P26.77 billion, and established 50 mariculture parks covering a total of 49,073 hectares.
For Extension, the DA provided a total of 22,941 various agricultural technology trainings and orientations from 2001 to 2009 to 977,713 farmers, agricultural extension workers, and farmer entrepreneurs.
For the Loans component, from 2001 to 2009, a total of P28.8 billion was released under the Agro-Industry Modernization and Credit Financing Program and Quedancor to farmer-beneficiarie s. If palay production loans from the Land Bank and releases from other financial institutions and agencies are included, the total would amount to P465 billion.
For Dryers and other postharvest facilities, a total of 2,016 units of flatbed dryers were delivered, installed and completed. Through the mechanical drying system, an estimated 25,724 metric tons of palay valued at P437 million was saved in 2008.
Moreover, a total of 39 cold chain facilities were completed and currently operational nationwide.
For the Seeds component, the DA provided 1.68 million bags of hybrid and 12.5 million bags of certified palay seeds from 2001 to 2009 to farmers nationwide. The DA also established the development of climate-ready seeds including saline-, drought-, and flood-resistant varieties.
Fondevilla noted that Malacaņang put FIELDS on the fast lane starting 2009 as several of its intervention programs had been incorporated into the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) component of the President's economic stimulus package, which was meant to help Filipinos ride out last year's global economic crisis. (DA Press Office) [top]