DA funding to shift towards agri infra
by Elaine O. Ratunil
Cagayan de Oro City (16 February) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) will shift its funding to hard or "big-ticket" projects rather than "soft" projects like giving fertilizer support to farmers, staring this year.
Thus announced Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap who said DA will now focus on infrastructure projects, such as irrigation maintenance, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads and rural extension work to boost farm productivity.
He said DA will provide farmers with organic fertilizer manufacturing g support which will be distributed to 2,600 clusters or sites where a bulk of its funds for intervention can be channeled instead of giving them fertilizer discount coupons.
"We are also considering phasing out of the seed subsidies to farmers in favor of projects like water and processing facilities for cooperatives and private companies producing high-yield and certified seeds, to help pull down the costs of their farm inputs," Yap said.
However, local government units (LGUs) willing to put up counterpart funding for farm-friendly programs, as a way to funnel more funds into the countryside, stimulate rapid growth and create more jobs under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) will be given priority, the Agriculture Secretary clarified.
Meanwhile, Yap had been designated CLEEP steward for Region II in Cagayan Valley covering the provinces of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino, as well, as that of Bohol in Region VII, Central Visayas whose job is to ensure and oversee the implementation of the following identified CLEEP programs and projects:
Roadside maintenance and/or flood control manpower through the Out-of-School Youth Serving Towards Economic Recovery (OYSTER), KALAHI Cash-for-Work and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), Financial Assistance and Microfinance for Expatriates (FAME), Employ-ment in farm-to-market road construction and maintenance and organic fertilizer production.
Goat dispersal, Microfinance for Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Beneficiaries, Swine Raising, Irrigation Repair for Irrigated Ricelands, Bantay Dagat, Bantay Gubat and Integrated Services for the Livelihood Advancement for Fisherfolks (ISLA). (PIA 10) [top]