DA vows insurance aid for farmers and fishers

DA vows insurance, aid for farmers, fishers as El Niño lurks

/ 02:15 AM December 30, 2023

DA vows insurance, aid for farmers, fishers as El Niño lurks


MANILA  -With El Niño expected to persist during the summer season next year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Friday said it was working to mitigate its impact on the entire food production system.

In a statement, the DA said Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC) had set aside P1.8 billion to insure 916,759 farmers and fishermen between January and June next year, ensuring they would be compensated from the onslaught of El Niño.


PCIC would also shell out P500 million as credit support for some 200,000 borrowers who may be affected by the long period of dry spell via the Survival and Recovery Loan Program of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council.


In the second half of 2023, the DA said PCIC was able to insure 1.27 million farmers, or 76 percent of the target group.

“We are leaving no stones unturned in our effort to ease the impact of El Niño on our farmers and fishermen as well as consumers by ensuring food production is sufficient and supply is secure during the expected dry spell that could affect a majority of provinces and millions who depend on agriculture and fisheries,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said.

READ: Villanueva: El Niño mitigation plan should cover farmers’ insurance woes

At the same time, the DA’s Bureau of Soil and Water Management had requested P112 million for cloud seeding operations to supplement the water requirement for crops during periods of low rainfall.

Cloud seeding

According to the DA, which did not say where the fund would be sourced, the cloud seeding would be undertaken together with the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of National Defense, which was expected to provide information for optimum operations, including the provision of aircraft.

Laurel noted the DA had so far rehabilitated 740 kilometers out of 843 km of irrigation canals across the country, while 40 units of small-scale irrigation systems covering 1,477.5 hectares had been repaired and rehabilitated to distribute water “more effectively and efficiently.”


The agency is also planning on distributing 56,169 animals to 297 farmer groups and 470 individual farmers under the Philippine Native Animal Development Program.

Earlier this week, the DA announced that nearly 500,000 metric tons (MT) of imported rice would arrive in the Philippines between this month and February next year to boost local inventory in the wake of El Niño.

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Around 76,000 MT of rice from Taiwan and India were expected to arrive until early January, the DA said. INQ

TAGS: Department of Agriculture, El Niño, farmers, fishers

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