Alcala Vows Improved Agricultural Production

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has vowed to make the farm sector more vibrant next year by strengthening measures to raise output and improve the performance of rice and high-value commercial crops (HVCCs.)Alcala said that this year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) "focused on sustaining agricultural development initiatives in strategic production areas and strengthening partnership between and among local government units, farmers association as well as private sectors in generating income and livelihood opportunities to help reduce poverty and hunger."He added that DA crafted "Agri-Pinoy" as the framework for implementingvarious programs and projects premised not only on achieving food security and local development but also in promoting sustainable agricultural development as well."Since the start of the new administration, the DA has been implementing Agri-Pinoy commodity programs for rice, corn, high-value commercial crops, coconut, livestock and fisheries. All these programs seek to enhance production and productivity of farmer and fisherfolk beneficiaries. In addition, critical agri-fishery infrastructures which include, among others, the irrigation, farm-to-market roads, flatbed dryers and other post-harvest facilities, mari-culture parks, fish ports were established in support of agricultural development," he said.For rice, DA provided high quality seeds to 1,040,215 farmers covering a total area of 1,560,323 hectares and established 1,335 composting facilities for organic fertilizer and trained 2,587 farmers in managing them.Irrigation facilities covering a total of 14,835 hectares were restored while those serving 60,074 hectares were rehabilitated, ensuring higher output an incomes for 40,049 farmers next year.Fifty units of flatbed dryers were also installed this year."State-of-the-art post harvest facilities will be put up in corn-producing areas like Isabela to increase production and income of corn farmers, thereby improve their living condition. …