• Duterte admin allocates P120B to agri-agra sector

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    THE Duterte administration has allocated P120 billion for the agriculture and agrarian sector this year, in line with the aim to reach out to neglected laborers in the country, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said

    In a statement on Monday, the DBM said a third of the P46.0 billion budget allotted to the Department of Agriculture (DA) is earmarked for initiating research and development, market development, credit support services for commodity programs in agriculture and fishery, and construction of farm-to-market roads.

    Budgetary Support to Government Corporations involved in agriculture and agrarian reform is P51.3 billion.

    The Rice Production Enhancement Program will receive P9.7 billion to boost production in 2017. The Rice Research and Development Program of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) will get P561 million to develop climate-resilient and high-yielding seeds.

    The DBM said P4.0 billion is allotted to the High Value Crops Development Program which aims to diversify crop produce and increase the crop production with high-value crops, and doubles as a poverty reduction program focusing on low-income areas.

    The corn production program is given a bigger budget of P2.8 billion to increase production of various corn varieties.

    An amount of P1.4 billion is allotted to the Coconut Program for better copra production and to bolster the Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan (KAANIB)–a coconut intercropping project.

    “The DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) are also collaborating to re-craft the Coconut Industry Development Roadmap in order to improve the present condition of the coconut farmers,” the DBM said.

    The National Tobacco Administration (NTA) is set to receive P386 million to create and sustain development programs for tobacco farmers and improve their per-hectare production capacity.

    The administration is providing the Fisheries Program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) P4.6 billion to improve production of commercial fishing, municipal fishing, and aquaculture. This will also fund the promotion of fishery resources protection and law enforcement, investment in the workforce, and research and technology.

    “The improvement of fish ports is also part of the government’s projects for 2017. With a budget of P225 million, the Philippine Fisheries-Development Authority (PFDA) will initiate the construction, rehabilitation, and upgrading of fish ports across the country,” it said.

    On the other hand, the DBM said the administration will continue and improve the credit and insurance services for agricultural workers.

    The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) is getting P2.5 billion to insure subsistence farmers and fisherfolk that will suffer losses from natural calamities and other agricultural-related risks. A funding of P811 million from the Agriculture Credit Policy Council will also be used to establish a flexible credit facility for agricultural workers.

    The DA will also address the urgent need to build and repair agricultural infrastructure such as farm-to-market roads and post-harvest facilities, with its infrastructure allocation of P12.3 billion. Of the amount, P6.0 billion will be used to build and repair of farm-to-market roads linking production areas and commercial hubs.

    Irrigation systems will be expanded and extended using the P38.4 billion allotted to the National Irrigation
    Authority (NIA) for servicing additional farmlands. It will also fund the repair of canal linings, service roads and other irrigation facilities while subsidizing irrigation service fees.

    This year, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) aims to distribute 48,000 hectares of land to farmers and provide technical support services to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries through its P9.8 billion allocation.

    The DBM noted the importance of electricity cannot be underestimated as it translates to safety, efficiency, comfort and progress.

    The administration aims to bring electrical power to 90 percent of households, concentrating on agricultural areas and remote municipalities which are yet to be connected to power grids.

    With its P1.8 billion, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) will provide electricity to sitios and households, while off-grid areas will be the focus of the Department of Energy (DOE) using its allotment of P186 million for the project.

    To build and rehabilitate transmission lines, the National Power Corporation (NPC) is given P2.8 billion.

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