Providing insights and understanding how the agriculture and fishery council (AFC) works in the province of La Union, the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I, through the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) led by Chairman Benjamin Campañano, made a courtesy call today with La Union Provincial Administrator and OIC-Provincial Agriculturist, Agnes Grace Cargamento at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist Conference Room, San Fernando City, La Union.

Together with the various heads of divisions and operating units of OPAG, Ms. Cargamento opened doors for better coordination and complementation of the province’s agri-fishery programs and projects with the DA which was spelled out in her commitment to support the various requests and undertakings of the AFCs in the province as presented by Ms. Milagros dela Rosa, head of the RAFC Secretariat.

Introducing the AFC on Wheels or the Advancing the Farmers Capacity on Wheels project which aims to reach out to the municipal and provincial local government units for their support to the AFCs by giving an office space for the provincial AFC chair as well as the provision of travel expenses for attendance to meetings and monitoring purposes, Ms. dela Rosa likewise asked the OPAG’s assistance on the provision of fuel and mobility for the AFCs.

Recognizing the potent role of the AFCs especially in the monitoring of DA’s programs and projects and the accreditation of CSOs or the Civil Society Organizations, Ms. dela Rosa asked for the OPAG’s help in recruiting stable organizations to become co-implementer on the various big ticket projects of the DA.

With the exisitng 5 accredited CSOs out of the 181 in the province, Ms. dela Rosa requested for additional accreditation of farmers association and cooperatives to increase the chance of the province to avail of the INSPIRE project of the Livestock Banner program, among others.

With the AFCs mandate to be part of the policy making body in the local government units where a resolution was made to provide funding support in the procurement of palay through a conduit when price of palay is lower than the NFA buying price as already approved by the Regional Development Council, Ms. dela Rosa sought the support of the OPAg for the implementation of the resolution in the province.

In response to this request, PA Cargamento expressed some of her worries on the low collection of loans in the past from farmers for some projects implemented by the province. The AFC Chair and Ms. dela Rosa suggested for the OPAG to get in touch with other LGUs like in the province of Pangasinan that have effective policy in implementing the same projects so they could adopt the same strategies.

Meanwhile, to put all these support into action, the PAFC La Union is requested to prepare a work and financial plan which shall form part of the funding appropriations of the province come CY 2023.##

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