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PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 19, 2012

What it takes to attain food sufficiency

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Jan. 19 (PIA) -- In order to attain food sufficiency in 2013, Pampanga needs P150 million funding from national, provincial and foreign assistance, according to the Pampanga Development Plan for 2012 to 2013.

P50 million is needed for production infrastructure which includes P20 million for flatbed dryers, P10 million for harvesters and threshers, P10 million for multi-crop threshers, P5 million for shallow tube wells and P5 million for hand tractors.

Pampanga produces 4.47 metric tons of palay per hectare which is higher than Central Luzon’s harvest of 4.23 metric tons per hectare.This is in spite of the high costs of inputs like fertilizer, chemicals and seeds which force farmers to borrow or loan from traders at high interest rates. There is also the problem of large post-harvest losses.

In fisheries, Pampanga has 38,000 hectares of aquaculture. 21 percent are from freshwater fishponds located in Candaba, San Luis, Guagua, Sta. Ana, Minalin, Magalang, Macabebe, Sta. Rita, Lubao and Mexico that produce tilapia, ulang (lobster), hito (catfish) and dalag (mudfish).

The towns of Sasmuan, Lubao, Guagua, Macabebe, Masantol and Sto.Tomas produce tilapia, bangus (milkfish), sugpo (prawn) and alimango (crab) in brackish water. These areas comprise 77 percent of the aquaculture site.

The income of fisher folks is still low because of the lack of handling facilities like ports, absence of cold storage for harvest and absence of livelihood opportunities for fish farmers.

Fisheries need P50 million for support. This will include the construction of fish ports in Batang 2, Sasmuan, Masantol, Sta. Cruz, Lubao, Apalit and Candaba.

The construction of post-harvest facilities will cost P50 million broken down into P30 million for a trading post, P5 million for a refrigerated delivery van, P5 million for a feed mill and P10 million for cold storage for fisheries and livestock.

There will also be mangrove reforestation in coastal barangays and marine sanctuaries in Lubao, Sasmuan, Macabebe and Masantol where each hectare will be planted with 3,000 propagules.

Some 25,000 farmers will benefit from the direct distribution of fertilizers and seeds, communal and pump irrigation to increase productivity. (WLB/RGSD-PIA3)

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