DA rolls out voucher system for rice farm aid distribution
MANILA -The Department of Agriculture (DA) is slated to roll out a voucher system to distribute seeds and fertilizers to rice farmers in five regions.
In a statement, the DA said the voucher system entails the distribution of dual-purpose interventions monitoring cards (IMC) that will serve as identification and cash cards of individual farmers.
The agency, however, did not provide a specific timeline for handing out these cards to eligible farmers.
Glenn Estrada, head of the digitalization program under the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP), said these cards will be handed out to clustered farmers in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and Bicol.
Clustered farms must be registered with the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
The agency partnered with the Development Bank of the Philippines and homegrown Filipino-owned company USSC to develop the IMC.
“As envisioned, clustered farmers can now transact and buy their seeds and fertilizers from any supplier of their choice and, with the IMC cards, can pay for their orders either in bulk (as a cooperative) or individually to either USSC, Maya or GCash,” it said.
Through the voucher system, RSBSA farmers can access government interventions, including the rice farmers financial assistance of P5,000 each being funded by the Rice Tariffication Law.
The Masagana program is targeting to improve local food production to achieve the target of 97 percent self-sufficiency in rice by 2028.