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PIA Press Release

Deliver agri-services faster, Yap tells Mindanao cluster

Koronadal City (30 July) -- Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap pushed for faster delivery and implementation of agricultural projects and programs in his recent dialogue with the DA Mindanao Cluster Team and local government officials in Kidapawan City.

He particularly was referring to the FIELDS Program of the government. "FIELDS", stands for the six areas of support - Fertilizer, Irrigation and Infrastructure, Education and training of farmers and fisherfolk, Loans, Dryers and other postharvest facilities, and Seeds of the high-yielding, hybrid varieties.

"We foresaw that as the lean months would come in, the price of rice rises and this is what happens every year. This is the reason why we have asked the National Food Authority to continue distributing. Now the private sector dealers and traders who speculated are hit hard on this and cannot bring out their stocks," he said.

"But then again we have to think, what is the impact of this scenario to us in the coming months because everything has a cause and reaction, there are implications and consequences."

"How are we going to help our farmers especially on financial matters? Second problem is high price of the fertilizers. Automatically there is an impact to our production from these problems," Yap added.

It is very important that the distribution of the fertilizer discount cards is being pushed and ask the local government units to cut out their shares. The president allowed the monetization of the Internal Revenue Allotment or IRA and signed the Executive Order 723 on one condition that the LGUs will monetize at least P5.0 Billion of the total P12.5 Billion re-enacted budget of 2001-2003.

Sec. Yap also explained that the Regional Executive Directors (REDs) should coordinate with the Landbank of the Philippines for loan terms and agreements.

The REDs should also coordinate with Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE) for the construction of dyers because there are certain provinces and production areas that are always severely hit by rains. More than 3,000 dryers are to be put up to these areas.

He further advised all the PAs to have the telephone numbers of the Provincial Managers of NFA and give it to the farmers so that farmers would have easy access and bring their yields this coming harvest season. Moreover, the NFA will have another approved program, the NFA will buy first come first serve basis up to 500,000 MT starting this season. Every 50 bags, a farmer will get a P1700 rebate or a one bag of fertilizer.

There is only one thing that I want you all to do… You deliver." Sec. Yap concluded. (DA12/PIA 12) [top]

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