Department of Agriculture (DA), headed by Secretary William D. Dar, partnered with the local government unit (LGU) of Santa Maria, Laguna, led by Mayor Cindy V. Carolino, in the implementation of the project entitled “Poultry (Free Range Chicken) Multiplier Breeder Farm” worth P5 million for the Brgy. Cueva Coffee Farmers’ Association.
This project is funded under the “Nucleus and Multiplier Breeder Farms for Poultry, Swine, and Small Ruminants Project” of the Bayanihan II Stimulus Package for Agriculture.
According to Councilor Lorna Alban, municipal committee on agriculture chairperson and project leader, this project will help coffee farmers in Santa Maria have an alternative livelihood source whenever their commodity is out of season. She also said that the climate and location of the association are highly recommended for poultry production.
“Maraming salamat po sa tuluy-tuloy na pagtulong ng Kagawaran sa mga magsasaka ng Santa Maria. Lubos po ang aking galak sa mabilis pong pagtugon ni OIC-Regional Executive Director Vilma M. Dimaculangan sa aming panawagan na magkaroon ng poultry multiplier breeder farm sa aming bayan. Hindi lamang po ang mga magkakape ng Santa Maria ang makikinabang sa proyektong ito ng DA kundi maging ang iba pang samahan ng mga magsasaka sa aming bayan,” she said.
Councilor Alban noted that this P5-million project’s construction is set to start by the last week of February or early March. She also said that aside from becoming fill-in sustenance during the off-season cropping of their commodities, this project will also ensure sustainable food production and supply in the community.
The signing of the memorandum of agreement was witnessed by Regional Livestock Program Coordinator Mr. Jerome G. Cuasay; LGU-Santa Maria officials, including Municipal Agriculture Officer Mr. Carlo Sumaria, Municipal Planning and Development Officer Engr. Monita Montales, and Administrative Officer Mr. Conrado Ong; and members of the farmers’ association. # # # (DA-RFO IVA, RAFIS)
21 Benguet farmers receive DA Cash and Food Subsidy
To provide secure direct cash and food assistance to farmers and fisherfolk and give market support to local producers of rice, chicken, and eggs, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera is currently distributing Cash and Food Subsidy for Marginal Farmers and Fisherfolks (CFSMFF) for the province of Benguet.
A total of 21 Corn Farmers received CFSMFF specifically 5 from Bokod, 3 from Kapangan, and 13 from Kibungan in the province of Benguet this January 20-21,2021.
They received a cash voucher of Php 3,000.00 e-voucher that will be claimed via M Lhuillier and Php2,0000 worth of rice, chicken, and egg.
Jacqueline Sanchez, a corn farmer of Bokod, Benguet expressed her gratitude to the DA-CAR for being chosen as one of the beneficiaries.
She said that assistance will be a great help to small farmers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The said intervention is under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan Act II), a Stimulus Package for Agriculture is allocated for Social Protection and Social Amelioration Projects. # # # (DA-RFO CAR, RAFIS)
Agri sector gets big boost with revised IRR of Agri-Agra Law
The Department of Agriculture (DA) welcomes the signing of the amended implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10000, or Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009, saying that the availability of agriculture and agrarian reform credit will provide the much-needed boost to increase the level of productivity and farmers’ incomes.
“After more than a decade since its enactment, and the fair share of controversies and problems in its implementation, we now have finalized and signed on January 20, 2021, the amendments of the IRR of the Agri-Agra Law, which would facilitate higher investments by banks in the agri-agra sectors,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
“The signing of the amended IRR came at a very opportune time as our agri-fishery sector takes up the challenge of leading the economic recovery amid the protracted health crisis,” he added.
The amended IRR was jointly drafted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), DA, and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in consultation with the banking industry. It takes effect 15 days after publication.
The IRR amendments are the following:
· Deletion of the accreditation requirements for debt securities;
· Expansion in the modes of compliance with the agrarian reform credit;
· Expansion of agri-agra eligible purposes;
· Amendment to the computation of total loanable funds of newly-established banks; and
· Extension of loans to borrowers for purposes of financing activities identified under Section 23 of R.A. No. 8435, including palay housing and farming homestead.
The amendments will also reduce operational challenges faced by banks in complying with the provisions of R.A. 10000.
For his part, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, in previous statements, said that the Central Bank is eyeing wider implementation of the Agri-Agra Law, allowing banks to invest part of their mandated portfolio in “green projects” and other forms of resiliency projects and investments in rural communities.
Further, he said that banks find it hard to meet the total 25-percent threshold if they only lend to the agri-agra sector, thus, the BSP is now exploring ways to help financial institutions comply with the requirement of the law.
As of end-2019, banks have only extended P714.5 billion (B) worth of loans to the agriculture sector or about 52 percent of the P1.384 trillion (T) they should have lent out to beneficiaries, according to BSP data.
At the end of 2018, such loans totaled P707.4 B of the total of P1.240 T if all banks were fully compliant.
The banking system had set aside P662.62 B as funds for the sector from January to September 2020, still way below the mandated threshold during the period. ### (DA StratComms)
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