PILI, Camarines Sur --- The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional office ihas given various forms of assistance to over 120,000 farmers and households affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in terms of food resiliency and farm productivity.
Emily Bordado, DA-Bicol spokesperson, in an interview on Monday, Aug. 3, said that the Covid-19 Food Resiliency Task Force created in March was among the DA’s response to the battle against the effects of the pandemic.
“Despite the threat of the virus our people from the ground continue to work to give the services needed by the people. For our food resiliency task force, we categorized our programs from financial assistance, inputs distribution, Kadiwa sa DA/Kadiwa on wheels, plant, pest and animal disease prevention and control, among others,” she said.
Bordado said that under the Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) program, a total of P317.3 million in cash assistance has been distributed to 58,446 farmers in the region.
“For our expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid Program), we released P73.5 million for marginalized small farmers and fishers (MSFF). From this amount, a total of 2,941 small farmers tilling below three hectares received the financial assistance and P89 million for micro and small enterprises (MSEs),” she said. This aid, she added, is in the form of a loan.
As part of the “Plant, Plant Plant” program, Bordado said DA-Bicol has distributed 5,342 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, 2,767 pieces of garden tools, 5,212 bags of corn seeds, and 949 bags of fertilizers to local government units (LGUs), that later on distributed the same to households and farmers.
“We also distributed 38,808 bags of hybrid rice seeds, 2,952 bags of certified seeds, 44,554 bags of fertilizer (QRF Tisoy), 14,560 heads of free-range chickens and 3,205 heads of mallard ducks,” she added.
Under the “Kadiwa sa DA/Kadiwa on Wheels” program, Bordado said 58,850 households were served by mobile stores selling lower-priced commodities with a total P66.3 million generated in sales.
Meanwhile, DA-Bicol continues to monitor the piggeries in the region’s six provinces for African Swine Fever (ASF).
Bordado said “12,437 heads of swine were depopulated in Camarines Sur while P44 million in the form of indemnification was paid to 1,684 affected hog growers or affected farmers.” (PNA)