Spurring growth and development of agri-fishery sector in the province of Ilocos Sur, the Department of Agriculture has poured investment of around P1.2B since 2017.
Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar noted this in his recent visit in the province of Ilocos Sur gracing the ground breaking ceremony of P32-M worth of infrastructure facilities for the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College (ISPSC) in Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur and the awarding and turn-over of P55.85M worth of DA farm machineries and equipment benefitting a total of 76 farmer associations from 27 municipalities in the province.
Out of this P1.2B investment for Ilocos Sur, around P600M was given this year that form part the interventions from the five major Banner programs of the DA under Rice, Corn, High Value Crops Development Program, Livestock and Organic Agriculture program.
These interventions comprise of agricultural inputs, farm to market roads, agri-infrastructures where bulk of the funds invested was to carry out the Farm Mechanization Program of DA to increase productivity and income of farmers.
“We want agriculture to grow. With the 10% growth in production of agriculture alone this year, we still need an additional 20% for the growth of agribusiness to make it 30% as we are making a lot of reforms, and interventions so that Philippine agriculture will truly be the backbone to our economy,” Sec. Dar said.
Seeing the potential of ISPSC as a driver to propel the research and extension activities in the province, Sec. Dar vowed for the allocation of P66M for the establishment of another ISPSC Branch that offers Veterinary Medicine course alongside with the establishment of Ilocos Sur Research and Extension Center including Training Center located in San Juan, Ilocos Sur.
In the pipeline next year is the P100M trading post for the municipality of Sta. Maria worth P100M and the P50M worth of ISPSC Branch in Narvacan which will offer Fisheries courses and a Food Processing Center at the ISPSC main branch worth P40M.
Meanwhile, maximizing his official visit in the Region, Sec. Dar and party also went to National Foods Corporation (NFC) in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte to inspect the management and operation of the 35 year-old semi-government facility for possible recommendations and solutions on the facility’s current challenges that is facing.
Along with the possible investor, Candaba, Pampanga Mayor Gerry Pelayo, Sec. Dar announced the NFC Board’s decision to privatize the facility.
However, while the facility is on its process of privatization, DA through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council shall help the NFC with the provision of P26M loan capital for farmers to finance their farming operations this year covering 800 hectares and another P39M to finance the loans of NFC to the farmers in their previous planting season while waiting for the marketing of the P120M products that would defer the previous loans from farmers.
Mayor Pelayo, who expressed optimism to support Sec. Dar’s agri-industrialization projects committed to send technical team to look into the upgrading and development of the facilities with the establishment of additional facilities catering to smaller markets with smaller packaging of the NFC products like in sachet forms.
He likewise asked the NFC management to increase the area planted with tomato, educate farmers on the management of the plant; teach them on financial literacy while other cash crops may also be utilized in support to the food consolidation that Sec. Dar is aiming to optimize the market as well as income of region 1 farmers.


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