The National Agriculture and Fisheries (NAF) Council has approved the proposed P134.5 billion budget of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for fiscal year 2015.
Representatives of the different government agencies, private entities, civil society organizations (CSOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations, farmer associations and women’s groups, which comprise the NAF council, supported during an en banc meeting the 2015 plan and budget proposal for the agriculture and fishery sectors.
The proposed 2015 budget is 68 percent higher than this year’s budget under the General Appropriations Act.
With the funds, the DA hopes to achieve its sub-sector outcomes based on the Philippine Development Plan and DA Performance Informed Budget Indicators.
These include increased productivity, forward linkage to the industry and services sector, and the sector’s resilience to climate change, especially in light of the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda last year.
The budget was also crafted taking into account President Benigno Aquino’s third inclusive growth agenda and the country’s preparation for the ASEAN economic integration.
Next year, the DA has proposed a P360 million outlay for agriculture and fishery policy services and P20.8 billion for technical and support services which include production support services, market development services and extension support, education and training services, and research and development.
Under the budget proposal, irrigation network services will get an outlay of P54.3 billion, farm-to-market road network services, P20 billion, agricultural equipment and facilities, P9.2 Billion, agriculture and fishery regulation services, P3.2 billion and, credit support services, P2 billion.
In line with its goal to attain and sustain rice self-sufficiency by 2015, the agriculture department has proposed P10.3 billion for the rice program. The livestock sector is to get P2.9 billion, corn program, P3 billion, high-value crops, P2.7 billion, and organic program, P1.4 billion.
Besides crafted interventions, the DA will also consider recommendations of NAF council members, including private sector participation in monitoring agri-fishery projects, completion of the delineation of municipal waters, insurance for the livestock sector, and acceleration of formulation of vulnerability maps in Yolanda-affected areas that will bolster rehabilitation efforts.
NAF council members have also called for the creation of a task force or a technical working group that will formulate guidelines in the implementation of fishery projects to ensure these projects will address needs of the sector and support the goal on inclusive growth.
Coconut industry stakeholders have also called on the DA to order the creation of a technical working group that will tackle worsening insect infestation problem.
After the NAF council’s approval of the DA’s 2015 plan and budget proposal, it will be passed on to the Department of Budget and Management.
The NAF council meeting was attended by officials from 13 line agencies, 10 CSOs, eight National Sectoral Committees and five Regional Agricultural and Fishery Councils.