Close to a thousand farmers in the City of Candon in Ilocos Sur joined the City’s Farmer’s Congress and Launching of its Micro Finance Program for Livelihood Enterprise and Agriculture Development or Candon City LEDS project held at the Candon City Civic Center on August 9, 2022.

Led by Candon City Mayor Eric Singson, also invited to join the activity was the Department of Agriculture-Ilocos attended by Dr. Annie Q. Bares, OIC-RTD for Operations representing the newly installed OIC-Regional Executive Director of DA-RFO I, Atty. Jennilyn M. Dawayan.

In her message during the event, Dr. Bares shared some updates in the agri-fishery sector including its status in terms of the food sufficiency programs and projects that the DA is currently implementing.

Informing the recently launched INSPIRE or Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion and the Bantay ASF sa Barangay or the Babay ASF Programs that aims to accelerate the repopulation and recovery of the hog industry, Dr. Bares encouraged the LGU’s support with the DA’s allocation of P10 million for the swine breeder based multiplier farm and P5.5 million calibrated re-population implementation of sentinel protocol thru the Bugnay Multi-purpose Cooperative.

These efforts according to Dr. Bares are made to continue upgrading the status of 72 municipalities declared as red zone to pink zone, and 25 municipalities to be upgraded from pink zone to yellow zone in Ilocos Region.

Other than these livestock projects, Dr. Bares also made known the Balik Probinsiya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program, Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo or the 4K Program which extends livelihood assistance to families who are encouraged to go home and invest in farming as well as the ancenstral domains of the indigenous peoples, respectively.

The F2C2 or the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program that aims to strengthen the bargaining power of the farmers and fisherfolk in the region, Dir. Bares also encouraged the farmers present in the congress to avail of the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita grant assistance program to provide marketing assitance and the Young Agri-preneurship Program or the Young Farmers Challenge that encourages young farmers to engage in agribusiness enterprises.

To address challenges on low farmers’ productivity due to lack of sufficient irrigation services, DA is also implementing the Renewable Energy Program for Agricultural and Fisheries Sector or the REPAFS where water pumps are upgraded into solar powered irrigation systems along with other irrigation network services.

To avail of all these DA’s programs and projects, Dr. Bares reminded the congress participants to enroll in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) as this is a major qualification to become a recipient.
In closing, Dr. Bares encouraged everyone’s support in all these programs and projects including the Micro-finance program that the City government launched during the program which shall lead to the growth and further development of the agri-fishery industry in Candon.

Meanwhile, to formalize the establishment of Candon City LEDS project, Mayor Singson inked the Memorandum of Agreement with the Ilocos Consolidated Cooperative Bank (ICCB) represented by its President, Mr. Ruben Habon as part of the launching program.###

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