DA rolls out P25.9-M projects to Midsayap town

Agriculture • Sat Jul 1, 2017 06:52 PM  •  290   0
By Carl Ulysses Aguillon
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Agriculture Sec. MannyPinol pose with farmer beneficiaries and agriculture regional officials. (DA-12)
Agriculture Sec. MannyPinol pose with farmer beneficiaries and agriculture regional officials. (DA-12)
MIDSAYAP, North Cotabato -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) is bringing the government closer to farming and fishing communities in the countryside as the agency awarded P25.9-million worth of interventions to farmers and fisherfolks here. 

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol led the distribution, together with top DA officials, to the local government unit of Midsayap, farmers’ associations, and fishing communities in the town.  

The turn-over ceremony entitled ‘Naa’y Maayo sa Mayo’ (There is Good in May) was part of Biyaheng Bukid, which is a series of visits of the agri chief to different areas in the country.  

Under the agency’s Rice Program, two rice combine harvesters and two mini four-wheel drive tractors were given.  

Almost 50 farmer-groups also received different farm machines worth P8.9-M from the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program to boost their production.  

To uphold peace in the area, two farmers’ associations and four barangays were given 27 units of pre and post-harvest facilities from the PAyapa at MAsaganang pamayaNAn (PAMANA) program.  

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program also distributed 200 bags of corn seeds and 200 bags of fertilizer were given to the intended recipients.  

Fishing communities in the area also received 34 units of motorized bancas and 80,000 tilapia fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Farmers urged to patronize new technology

Secretary Piñol pressed farmers to use new farming technologies introduced by the DA.   “We have to embrace new technologies. We must be open-minded,” the agri chief emphasized.  

He furthered that farmers should forget ‘ancient’ technologies and that the DA is continuing the delivery of modern farm machines to increase harvest.  

As an example, Secretary Piñol described the situation of farmers in Samar provinces who used old farming technologies.
“During land preparation, farmers in Samar only used five carabaos to till the area, and then plant the seeds, then they will only return during harvest time… these farming practices result to low yield with an average of one to two metric ton per hectare,” he explained.  

Aside from using farm machines, the agri chief mentioned that farmers now should choose hybrid seeds.  

With the current national average yield per hectare of 4.15 metric tons, Sec. Piñol knew that the country could not soon achieve rice sufficiency, and that the utilization of hybrid seeds to rice production areas will elevate the harvest of farmers.  

“I cannot waste government money… I am offering you free hybrid seeds,” said by the agriculture secretary.  

He also instructed Dr. Sailila Abdula, current executive director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), to look on the most suitable variety of hybrid seeds to palay production areas in the town.  

Fertilizer loaning program supporting DA’s ‘Masaganang Ani 200’
campaign launched  

Planters Products Incorporated yesterday launched its ‘Abono sa Uma’ loaning program in M'lang, North Cotabato. Secretary Manny graced the activity as the guest speaker.  

Said launching activity signaled the commencement of a nationwide fertilizer loaning program which would allow rice and corn farmers to avail of between six to ten bags of fertilizers payable after harvest.

Secretary Piñol and PPI President Domingo Duerme led the ceremonial distribution of bags of fertilizers to the first batch of about 2,000 farmers.  

“Abono sa Uma’ program is our initiative to uphold the Department of Agriculture's bid of increasing rice and corn production in the country under its ‘Masaganang Ani 200’,” Duerme said.  

Under the Masaganang Ani 200, the department wants to increase the average yield per hectare to 200 cavans or ten metric tons for irrigated areas.  

PPI has yet to determine the payment rate of the farmers.   PPI, a private corporation which was sequestered by government, is placed under the administrative control of the DA.  

In the official launch of ‘Masaganang Ani 200’ in April this year, Secretary Manny said that through this initiative the Philippines will be able to stop rice importation.  

“Masaganang Ani 200 is our best option,” said Pinol. “Next year, we’ll have one million hectares for hybrid rice to achieve sufficiency.”  
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