THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it has given P700.44 million worth of project assistance to farmers’ groups in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
“The project assistance covers various farm machinery including tractors, irrigation systems, and harvesters; farming technologies including greenhouses; and other farm inputs,” the DA said in a statement.
The assistance was given to 42 farmers’ associations and cooperatives.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar awarded these to the farmers during a forum on Sept. 20 in La Trinidad, Benguet.
According to government data, production of palay, or unmilled rice, in the region accounted for 2.1% or 391,105 metric tons (MT) of the 2018 palay production of the Philippines of 19.066 million MT.
Mr. Dar also announced the revival this month of the Marcos-era “Kadiwa” program, a project of the DA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Food Terminal, Inc., which seeks to cut out middlemen from the supply chain of farm produce.
The intended market for such produce is low-income consumers.
“We want to link farmers to markets in Metro Manila so that we can give them better opportunities to produce and earn more,” Mr. Dar said in a statement.
Meanwhile, he also directed the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) to ensure that equipment being distributed to farmers is up to standard, after complaints from a Cordillera farmer.
“I am now directing the regional directors and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) to see to it that the equipment, facilities, and machinery that we give as grants be of high quality,” he said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang