The Department of Agriculture (DA) has awarded over P174-million worth of agricultural projects to farmers and fisherfolk in 22 municipalities of Lanao del Norte.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, at a ceremony in the town of Tubod, turned over the farm projects that aim to beef up sufficiency of staple food in the province.
The award included about P27-million worth of projects were distributed under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana) program; P1.7-million worth of fishing equipment from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); P40-million worth of projects under the Bottom-Up-Budgeting program; and P76-million worth of farm-to-market roads (FMR).
At the same time, Alcala gave his commitment for the immediate approval of the requested P10-million worth of FMR projects that will allow farmers transport their products to markets and other trading areas.
Farmers in Lanao also received 2,000 packets of assorted vegetable seeds; 1,200 fruit-tree seedlings; 1,000 bags of certified seeds; 1,000 bags of corn seeds; three units of thresher machines; three units of power tillers; one unit of four-wheeler tractors; and six units of mechanical shelters from the DA.
Additionally, livestock – including carabaos, cattle, piglets and sheep – as well as five units of 5.5 horsepower marine engines, 15 sets of bottom set gill nets, 10 sets of seaweed farm implements and five units of fiberglass boats were distributed to farmers and fisherfolk.
Regional Director Lealyn Ramos reported that Lanao del Norte recorded 139 percent rice self-sufficiency because of the efforts of the farmers across the province.
The province was one of the few areas in Mindanao un affected by the El Niño phenomenon.
Meanwhile, Alcala disclosed plans by the BFAR to make Lanao del Norte the Crab Capital of the Philippines.
“We already have a comprehensive plan that we will put in place very soon,” he said.
Under the plan, BFAR will strengthen and improve the increased production of soft shell crab.
The DA chief thanked the local fishermen’s group for their initiative and their cooperation in stopping the use of sanggab, a local filter net which catches small crabs and prawns prematurely.