DA distributes over P79M worth of aid to small-scale farmers, cooperatives in Camarines Sur
By Keren Anne Bernadas
DEPARTMENT of Agriculture through the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) has distributed P79.9 million worth of fertilizer discount vouchers, palay seeds and farm mechanization services to small-scale farmers in Camarines Sur.
The grant includes 11 units of combine harvesters which are being used in processing the rice grains.
“The government developed this initiative to provide timely farm subsidies and mechanization for the farmers,” said DA Bicol Regional Director Rodel Tornilla who, together with Gov. Luigi Villafuerte, presided over the turnover of inputs and machinery to some 3,000 farmers at the Capitol Compound in the municipality of Pili last December 18.
These services which will aid in land preparation, Tornilla added, will increase productivity and production to reach the potential of Camarines Sur, one of the country’s 10 major rice-producing provinces.
Fertilizer discount vouchers worth P42 million and inbred palay seeds worth P380,000 were also distributed to the farmers.
A thousand farmers were also selected to receive P5,000 each in cash assistance.
Fertilizers, gardening tools, and cacao planting materials worth P3.2 million were distributed among the beneficiaries.
Hilda Pacis representing Senator Cynthia Villar; Vice Governor Sal Fortuno, Jr.; Board Members of Camarines Sur; DA RTD Luz R. Marcelino; DA AMAD Chief Adelina A. Losa; DA Field Operations Chief Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez and APCO for Camarines Sur Marcial Bustarga were also present during the turn over of agri-interventions on December 18, 2023 in Pili, Camarines Sur. Photo by DA Bicol
The DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division turned over a total of P5 million worth of Kadiwa financial grants to five cooperatives, namely, San Fernando SWISA Agriculture Cooperative, Partido Sapa Agri Coop, Tadyong Farmers Association Inc., Cabangal Palsong ARB and Fisherfolk Cooperative.
In addition, they also received fertilizers, gardening tools, and cacao planting materials worth a total of P3.2 million.
“Words are not enough to thank the DA because what was given to us is complete. We have already received fertilizer, rice seeds, machinery and seminars,” Edilberta De Veras, one of the beneficiaries from the municipality of Camaligan, said.
Edwin Doro, a farmer from the municipality of Milaor, said the fertilizer subsidy is very timely as the spike in global prices of farm inputs have greatly affected cropping costs.
“Nakahinga kami ng maluwag dahil ang konting naipon namin ay magagamit na namin sa ibang pangangailangan (We breathed a sigh of relief because the little we save can be used for essential needs),” Doro said.
The Mantila Agrarian Reform Farmers Association of Sipocot and Sagladab Farmers Association of Lagonoy, both in Camarines Sur, separately received truck which they can use in transporting their produce.
Tornilla vowed to continue providing assistance and support to farmers in Camarines Sur, saying “Our farmers are our modern-day heroes for working very hard to bring food to the table of every Bicolano home.” (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)