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Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar visited Brgy. Masin in Tayabas City to talk with the 1st district farmers of Quezon province on July 10, 2020.

The purpose of the visit is to know the farmers’ welfare during this pandemic period; to listen to their worries, suggestions, and requests; to present the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s available programs; and finally, to turn over agricultural interventions worth P36,076,832.68.

Among the interventions handed over are farm machineries like hand tractor, floating tiller, and transplanter; production inputs such as various seeds, seedlings, and fertilizers; and livestock and poultry modules, to name a few.

Meanwhile, Hon. Wilfrido Mark M. Enverga, 1st District of Quezon Representative and House Committee on Agriculture and Food Chairman, expressed his deepest gratitude for the continued support of the Department in the agriculture industry.

“The DA, led by Secretary Dar, stayed with us, supporting us in the midst of all the adversaries of African swine fever, Taal eruption, typhoons, and this pandemic,” he said.

The provincial agriculturist and provincial administrator of Quezon, Mr. Roberto D. Gajo, who spoke on behalf of Governor Danilo E. Suarez, also expressed his appreciation to the Department.

“With the Department’s Plant, Plant, Plant Program, especially the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP), Quezon’s goal of boosting the yield of its crop production will surely be realized,” Mr. Gajo said.

In his speech, Secretary Dar said that the national government has granted additional funding of P8.5 billion to the DA for the RRP, where approximately P5.5 billion was allocated for the provision of additional fertilizers.

“From 86 percent, the RRP would help contribute an additional seven percent to the total rice requirement, taking us to an adequacy level of 93 percent. This is one of the policy shifts we are implementing to increase food sufficiency levels for most basic agricultural commodities, like rice, so as we battle through this pandemic, we have at least close to 100 percent commodity sufficiency level,” the agriculture chief said.

The secretary firmly believes that agriculture is one of the sectors where the Philippine economy can leap and rebuild.

Secretary Dar also conveyed his appreciation to Cong. Enverga’s continued support for DA’s request for the Department to have a bigger budget, which translates into more interventions for farmers and fisherfolk.

Mr. Cesar Rodriguez, president of the Tayabas Federation of Farmers, shared his utmost appreciation for the DA’s agricultural support. He hoped this intervention would not be the last time the department would give them.

Mr. Joseph Pagana, a member of the Young Farmers’ Association in Tayabas, also thanked the Department for their assistance to the future generation of farmers.

During the open forum, Secretary Dar has instructed Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa to immediately attend to all concerns and requests given by the farmers. • (MAP, DA-RAFIS)