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TURNOVER CEREMONY. Outgoing regional director Ma. Gloria A. Tango (2nd from right) and assistant regional director Joel M. Gonzales (rightmost) of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 12 handed the ISO certification to incoming regional director Chona M. Mantilla and assistant regional director Yahya “Yang” A. Centi on January 30, 2012 during the turnover of command of DOLE 12. Mantilla assumes as regional director on February 1. (DED/RTLacibal/PIA12)

PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DA urges farmer groups to avail of seeds, seedling assistance

by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, Jan. 18 (PIA) -- Officials of the Department of Agriculture in Soccsksargen Region (DA-12) are encouraging farmer groups to take advantage of the assistance the department’s is offering under its high value crops development program.

Non-government organizations, local government units, cooperatives, civic organizations, and other such groups may also submit project proposals, Danilo Centillas, DA-12’s high value crops coordinator, said.

Centillas told reporters Region 12 has P48 million funds for interventions that include, planting materials, farm tools, farm equipment, and machineries.

“They only need to submit project proposals,” he said.

Interested groups may get project proposal forms from the nearest local agriculture office or from the regional office in Koronadal City.

Based on a report paper that Centillas distributed during a recent press conference, DA-12 aims to distribute 100,000 seedlings of coffee, 100,000 seedlings of rubber, and 50,000 seedlings of cacao.

They have also allocated planting materials for 50,000 assorted fruit trees and 20,000 banana (saba).

Seeds slated for distribution this year include 500 kg of lowland vegetable (eggplant, squash, ampalaya and other “pinakbet” vegetables), 65 kg of upland vegetables (cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, etc.), and 20,000 kg of soya beans.

Although they have already scheduled this week a writing workshop to finalize submitted project proposals, Centillas said interested groups may still submit project proposals through their municipal agriculture office for endorsement by the municipal mayor to the provincial agriculturist.

He said, they have received only 59 project proposal from the entire Region 12, “most of these from North Cotabato.”

“We have only received only 11 proposals from South Cotabato,” he added.

With the expected shutdown of the Ala River Irrigation System which is due for rehabilitation in May this year, affected farmer groups , including irrigators’ associations, are urged to avail of DA’s assistance.

A total of 12,000 hectares covering four municipalities (Surallah, Sto. Niño, Banga and Norala) in South Cotabato and two municipalities (Bagumbayan and Isulan) in Sultan Kudarat province may be deprived of water supply for one cropping; about 8,850 farm families may have to shift to other alternative crops while the two dams of Ala RIS are closed.

Besides planting materials, part of the fund is allocated for 35 power sprayers, 200 knapsack sprayers, 1 tractor, 10 small farm equipment, 20 draft animals, and 20 small farm implements.

They also planned for the establishment of 30 rain shelters, 5 screen houses, 8 nurseries and 1 seed storage facilities.

Regarding the preparation of the proposals, Centillas advised proponents to make their proposals simple.

“But we are more concerned with the sustainability of their projects,” he said, such that benefits may be gained by their members beyond the first year of implementation.

He added, it is important to have proposals endorsed by the local government unit so that officials are made aware that such projects may be implemented in their area or may be re-aligned to agree with local programs. (PIA-12)

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