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CALABARZON

DA CALABARZON updates rice farmers on current, latest programs

By DA CALABARZON
March 7, 2020



CALAMBA CITY, Laguna - More than a hundred farmers from the first district of Quezon province were reoriented on the current and latest programs and services of the Department of Agriculture during the “Rice Farmers’ Forum on Agricultural Interventions” held on February 27-28 in Tayabas City.

Representing Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa, Organic Agriculture Program Focal Person, Director Lucia A. Campomanes discussed the Department’s programs with emphasis on Agriculture Chief, Dr. William D. Dar’s “new thinking” for agriculture which has for its vision: “A food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.”

“Secretary Dar wants to empower you (farmers and fishermen), and the private sector to increase agricultural productivity and profitability, considering sustainability and resilience,” she said.

Campomanes called for DA’s urge to enlist farmers in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), an electronic database containing basic information of farmers and fisherfolk, and members of DA-accredited farmers’ organizations such as multi-purpose cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, and people’s organizations.

“RSBSA serves as a requirement and basis for providing financial assistance, subsidiary funding, and insurance services for you. Once registered, you are also given priority in the targeting and implementation of government agencies’ programs,” she explained.

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National Farmers and Fisherfolk Information System will be used to update RSBSA and address the issues of completeness and data accuracy.

DA also launched the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance Program, an unconditional cash transfer program which aims to give P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers affected by the low-buying price of palay and tilling 0.5 – 2 hectares of land in 33 provinces nationwide.

The agency's six banner programs and major services that may be availed by the farmers were also discussed in the forum. Newest loan programs being offered by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council such as the Kapital Access for Young Agri-preneurs (KAYA) and Agri-Negosyo were also introduced to the participants.

Under KAYA, entrepreneurs/agri-fishery graduates aged 18 to 30 are offered loans in the form of working capital and fixed asset acquisition requirements for their start-up or existing agribusiness. They may loan up to P500,000 which is payable for five years with zero interest rate. Meanwhile, the Agri-Negosyo is open to sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, associations, and cooperatives who are planning to start or expand their business ventures. They may avail the loan up to P15 million as working capital.

The two-day activity also served as a venue to tackle different issues and concerns besetting the rice industry in the region.

DA-National Irrigation Administration regional director; and municipal and city agriculturists and councilors/committee on agriculture chairpersons also took part in the said event.

Hon. Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, House Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman, spearheaded the occasion that was sponsored by DA CALABARZON Rice Program. (DA CALABARZON)

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