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P13M for Fishery, Agriculture Projects in Basilan

16 May 2012, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture is allotting P13 million for various agriculture and fishery projects, equipment and inputs to further spur the productivity and incomes of Basilan farmers and fisherfolk.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala led the turnover of said projects during a forum at Basilans provincial capitol in Isabela City, where he dialogued with hundreds of farmers, fisherfolk and local government officials led by Governor Jum Jainuddin-Akbar, on 27 April, 2012.

The total allotment initially consisted of fishery and seaweed production projects worth P5 million (M), from the DAs Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); P5M from the DAs High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) for a rubber nursery to produce quality planting materials; P2.9M for coconut seedlings, and salt fertilization and coconut planting projects, from the DAs Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA); rubber and grafted fruit tree seedlings worth P440,000, and 400,000 pieces of polyethylene bags; and assorted vegetable seeds for a Barangay Food Terminal project.

Secretary Alcala also instructed DA-HVCDP national coordinator Jennifer Remoquillo to provide Basilan farmers with cacao and coffee seedlings for trial planting.

During the forum, he listened to and addressed the various concerns raised by farmers, fisherfolk, and LGU officials. He encouraged the farmers and fishers to organize themselves into cooperative so they could qualify and apply for loans and credit assistance with the Land Bank of the Philippines.

He likewise encouraged Basilan local government officials, farmers and fisherfolk, and other agri-fishery industry stakeholders to craft a five-year agricultural and fishery development plan. He said the DA will assist them in crafting said plan, and committed to visit the province again.

During the forum, the DA Chief raffled off to lucky participants various farm and fishery equipment and implements that include fishing boat engines, several sets of cassava grater with presser, draft animals with implements, and gill nets, among others.

Secretary Alcala was accompanied by several top DA officials in Basilan, among them were DA Assistant Secretary and national corn program coordinator Edilberto De Luna, DA Region 9 Director Eduardo Holoyohoy, DA-ARMM Secretary Sangkula Tindick, DA-BFAR Director Asis Perez, and DA-HVCDP Director Remoquillo.

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