“The Marcos Administration will continue to push for stronger support for the sector, because expanding investments in food production will create jobs and promote progress,” Department of Agriculture (DA) Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said.
As part of the National Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month (NFFM) celebration, the DA continued to honor the farmers and fisherfolk and their invaluable contribution to the country’s food security and economic development during the program on May 15, 2023.
Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel De Mesa presented at the event the four new major projects of the DA to show the agency’s commitment to transforming the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector.
In partnership with international funding institutions such as the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the recently approved projects include: 1) Adapting Philippine Agriculture to Climate Change (APA); 2) Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency Project (FishCoRe); 3) Scaled-up Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP); and 4) Mindanao Inclusive Agriculture Development Project (MIADP).
With a project cost of P2.3 billion, the APA aims at increasing the resilience of agri stakeholders in areas vulnerable to climate change particularly in the Cordillera, Cagayan Valley, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, and Soccsksargen regions.
The FishCoRe targets to improve management of fishery resources and enhance the value of fisheries production in select Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) covering 24 provinces with P11.422 project cost.
The Scale-up PRDP will expand its coverage in 82 provinces nationwide with a total project cost of P45.012 billion to improve the farmers’ and fisherfolk’s access to markets and increase their incomes from agri-fishery value chains.
The MIADP, on the other hand, will focus on 26 ancestral domains in Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and BARMM to sustainably increase their agricultural productivity, resiliency, and access to markets and services with a project cost of P6.625 billion.
“We will press on with our collaboration with members of the House and Senate as we support new legislation for the expansion of opportunities in our rural areas,” Undersecretary Panganiban said.
He added that the DA will continue to ease the burden of rising inflation and encourage growth in the countryside through its various programs for agriculture and fisheries.
The DA official also led the awarding of plaques of recognition to the following outstanding individuals and groups who are active partners of the DA in the implementation of its various programs for the sector’s sustainable development.
Undersecretary for Administration and Finance and 2023 NFFM Chairperson Agnes Catherine T. Miranda assured the agency’s commitment to deliver assistance the country’s food heroes.
“We at the DA commit to continue to work double time so we can achieve our goals together,” she said.
Miranda added that this year’s celebration of the NFFM is a symbol of the DA family’s unwavering commitment as public servants to work towards the upliftment of the lives of farmers and fishers as partners in national development. (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)