DA urges LGUs to implement projects to help farmers, fishermen
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is pushing for more local government-led extension programs to help farmers and fishermen, saying that incentives are ready for provinces that will answer the call.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement the World Bank had already committed $500 million to implement the Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems.
“We are ready to help whichever (local government that will) adopt this,” Dar said, referring to those that were willing to expand their agriculture and fisheries extension efforts.
“This time around, let us make the province-led agriculture and fisheries extension systems work,” he added.
The agriculture chief also said the “One Province, One System” agricultural extension approach — which also covered cities and town — served as a strategy to address the lack of agricultural extension workers and slow transfer of technologies in the subnational level.
Dar noted that due to the devolution of power to local government units, the agricultural extension function of the DA had become the responsibility of LGUs.
In another development, the DA signed with state universities and colleges (SUCs) a memorandum of agreement on the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), which was part of the government’s strategy to providing greater opportunities and achieving sustainable economic growth in the field of agriculture and fisheries.
ACEF, a safety net against the effects of the trade liberalization, is a loan program that provides credit to farmers and fisherfolk, their associations and cooperatives, and macro- and small-scale enterprises, to increase agri-fishery productivity and competitiveness.
The Bureau of Agricultural Research, DA’s coordinating arm for research and development, was tasked to solicit, screen, and evaluate grant proposals from the SUCs.
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