Soccsksargen gets P2.4-B for agri, fishery recovery programs

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allocated some PHP2.4 billion for the recovery initiatives this year for the agriculture and fishery sectors in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

Arlan Mangelen, DA-Region 12 executive director, said Thursday they will use the funds to further expand its services and strengthen the rollout of its support programs for local farmers and fisherfolk.

He said the rice program received the biggest budget with PHP1.2 billion, followed by the corn sector with PHP124.9 million, high-value crops development with PHP68.4 million, livestock with PHP51 million, and organic agriculture with PHP12.4 million.

Around PHP2.3 million was also set aside to support and help boost the region’s thriving halal industry, he said.

Mangelen said the agency will take the lead in promoting and strengthening the halal industry through the development of more products and sustaining the availability of raw materials in the area.

“With the available funds that we have for this year, we’re aiming to serve more farmers and fisherfolk and further elevate their sectors,” he said in a statement.

Mangelen said they will accelerate the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) Program, which aims “to increase food production levels, improve farmers’ and fishers’ incomes, and provide better access to resources, technologies, and markets for farmers and fisherfolk.”

Through the F2C2 program, he said the agency will “efficiently channel assistance such as credit, modern production methods, farm machinery, post-harvest and program facilities, transport and logistics, packaging support, as well as information and communication technologies, to farm and fishery clusters.”

Mangelen said their policy thrusts and directions for 2021 are anchored on DA’s twin objectives of promoting higher productivity and income (Masagananang Ani at Mataas Na Kita) for the agriculture and fishery sectors.

He said expressed optimism in achieving the region’s food production targets for this year despite the coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 pandemic.

“We were able to provide sufficient food supplies for our residents in the past year and we will strengthen that this 2021,” he said.

Source: Philippines News agency

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