05/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/05/2019 23:46
Author: DA-AFID | 6 May 2019
In spite of the El Niño and the threats of climate change, the signing of the Rice Trade Liberalization Act, and unforeseen circumstances in the domestic and global markets, farmers and fishers are expected to produce sufficient food to supply the needs of a nation of more than 109 million Filipinos.
Aside from these hurdles, agricultural laborers from all across the country are obligated to produce raw materials for the processing of both food and non-food products for various industries and household requirements.
Often they face challenges in attaining sufficient production, and fall short of the requirement. However, agriculture champions have continued to persevere and persist to attain positive output and production, to feed the people and establish a food-secure Philippines.
Despite hardships and adversities, these Filipino farmers and fishers have remained the sturdy partners of the government in ensuring sufficient food, stable livelihood and progressive rural communities.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), mandated to ensure and oversee the production of quality and sufficient food supply for the country, while improving farm income and establish opportunities for farmers, fishers and other rural laborers, has continuously executed actions towards the attainment of these directives.
Nearing the midterm of the Duterte Presidency, DA boasts of improved production in the countryside courtesy of the Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) and Rural Easy Access Credit Programs.
These game-changers, according to Agriculture chief Manny F. Piñol, are expected to spur greater productivity and reduce rural poverty.
SPIS, is an innovative and sustainable system of irrigating the rice fields, which is comparatively much cheaper and takes shorter time to build than dams. It can be operated for a maximum of nine hours a day, has a capacity output of 1,280-2000 cubic meter (m3) per day with pump flow rate of more or less 241 m3/hour.
The Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, is an uncomplicated financial assistance program of DA, which provides farmers access up to P50,000 loan, with 6% interest rate per annum. Farmers, fishers, and other rural workers who are registered under the Juan Magsasaka at Mangingisda National Database System may access the zero-collateral credit facility.
The SPIS and PLEA are just two of the major game changers that the Department has innovated in support to the farmers and fishers. The DA will continuously come up with interventions for greater productivity in the countryside and uplift the lives of the champions of the Philippine agriculture.
This month, the DA celebrates the triumph and success of the men and women who have labored relentlessly, day in and day out, to feed a nation. And together, as a nation, we wholeheartedly recognize their contribution to rural development and economic progress. As one, we salute their unconditional service to the country, and bid these modern-day heroes more productive years and bountiful blessings.
'Magsasaka't mangingisdang Pilipino, saludo ang buong bansa sa sipag, tibay at lakas ninyo' ### (Oda Rodriguez/DA-AFID)