A total of P637.5 million worth of agri-fishery projects was turned-over to Pangasinan farmers by the Department of Agriculture thru Secretary William Dar today in his visit to the province as part of his two-day sortie in the region to launch the RCEF-RFFA or the Rice Competitivenes Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program.

Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino leads the farmers and fisherfolk in receiving the various agri-fishery projects to include among others farm machineries and equipment, credit loan assistance, ASF indemnification fund, sentineling or re-population of hogs as well as the financial grant assistance to RSBSA registered farmers in the province.

Of the total P637.5 million worth projects awarded and distributed, the financial grant assistance gets the biggest share of fund assistance of P508 million where farmers registered at RSBSA or registry system for basic sectors in agriculture tilling not more than 2 hectares farm would receive P5,000 each.

In his message during the program held in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Sec. Dar made known to the participants the DA’s intervention to typhoon Maring-affected farmers who may avail of an emergency loan assistance in the amount of P20,000.

Through the ACPC, affected farmers with reported damages in their localities as certified by the Local Chief Executives and the Municipal Agriculturist may avail of this emergency loan assistance with zero interest, zero collateral and payable within the period of 10 years.

Another project that Secretary Dar informed which farmers may avail of during natural calamities is the insurance of crops and animals thru the Philippine Crops Insurance Corporation (PCIC) which requires farmers to get registered with the agency in addition to their registration to the RSBSA due to some additional requirements needed by the agency.

As a protocol in giving assistance for example in case of hogs, Secretary Dar said that both backyard and commercial raisers could avail of the program where 22 percent of the premium shall be paid by the DA and the other 78 percent shall be shouldered by the hog raisers.

Keeping farmers updated on the soaring price of fertilizer in the market at present, Sec. Dar narrated the lower supply of fertilizer in the world market and some logistics issues brought by the pandemic not to mention the high price of oil in the world market.

Nonetheless, he made mention various measures that the government has undertaken to address the issue. Among these measures include the implementation of Balance Fertilization Strategy where new fertilizer protocols shall be implemented.

Also, DA according to Secretary Dar shall look for other supplier of fertilizers in the world market other than the usual suppliers and now is working on for the approval of P8 billion fund to continue the fertilizer subsidy to be given to farmers with 3 bags for hybrid and 2 bags for inbred rice varieties.###

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