The government has earmarked P2.94 billion to cover the construction and procurement of community post-harvest development services and facilities nationwide.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said the fund was released to the Department of Agriculture under the DA budget for the Provision of Agricultural Equipment and Facilities in the 2014 General Appropriations Act.
The Budget agency noted that the latest release will support the post-harvest facility requirements of various programs under the Agriculture department, including the National Rice Program, National Livestock Program, and National Corn Program.
Post-harvest services covered by the release will include drying, milling, and processing facilities; various equipment, including tractors, transplanters, plows, dryers, and seed cleaners, as well as other basic equipment, it added.
“Proper post-harvest facilities are key to the success of our banner agriculture programs.
By giving our farming communities the necessary equipment and infrastructure, we can help make the post-harvest process much more efficient for them. This, in turn, will allow our farmers to preserve the quality of their crops and minimize the risk of post-harvest losses,” said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
The DBM said that of the different regions, Region XII (Soccksargen), which includes the provinces of North Cotabato and Sarangani, will receive the largest share of the release, with P396.8 million allotted to the region.
This is followed by the Ilocos Region (Region I), which includes the high-disaster risk areas of Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, for which P321.9 million has been allocated.
Meanwhile, the Bicol Region (Region V), which covers Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Masbate—also poor and disaster-prone provinces—will receive P284.4 million.
The DBM also explained that the agriculture department has been tasked to prioritize areas where majority of farmers listed under the Registry System on Basic Sectors in Agriculture are located.
Provinces or regions with a high incidence of poverty, as identified by the National Statistical Coordination Board, are also supported in this fund release.
This ensures the implementation of post-harvest development facilities in the areas where the support is most needed, as specified by the Agriculture department in submission of their master plan to the budget department, it said.
Abad said the government will continue to work closely with agricultural communities in the Philippines in order to boost the local agri-industry and make it a driving force in the country’s economic growth.
“Crucial to this is building the capacity of our farmers towards greater productivity, as well as bringing more commercial opportunities to their respective communities,” the Budget chief added.