In a bid to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security in the region, Cordillera office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR), in coordination with the Office of Former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, awarded various machinery and equipment worth P 21 million to 223 farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, and Ifugao on November 8, 2022.
Awarded farm machinery and equipment included 93 units of multi-cultivator, 212 units of power sprayer, 88 units of grass cutter, and 20 units of mini-chainsaw. Through the appropriate usage and maintenance of these interventions, it is hoped that the economy of the beneficiary communities engaged in high value crops farming will be enhanced and the use of farm machinery is seen to increase production while lowering labor cost.
During the turnover ceremony, DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey reiterated that this supplemental budget in the High Value Crops Development Program of DA-CAR which was the initiative of Former Senator Pangilinan is a great help in the realization of the improved financial returns for the farmers. “Dakkel nga banag nu ada ti assistance tayo nga maipaay iti farmers tayo nga adda iti high value crops. Dakayo nga farmers nga mang-usar ditoy ket adalen yu kuma wenno ammuwen yu nu kasano nga mangala iti datos nu dakdakel iti bentahe nu mausar dagitoy compared nu manual ti ikasta tapnu adda basis ti expansion tayo in the future,” he said.
(It’s great that we have support for our high value crops farmers. To the beneficiaries who will be using these, you should learn how to get data of the advantages of the use as compared if you do it manually so that there will be a basis for our expansion in the future.)
Director Odsey also mentioned that the present administration fully supports the HVCDP considering that 80% of vegetable production in the region supplies Metro Manila and other lowland provinces. In estimate, the value of highland vegetables being sold, including our consumption, is around PhP 15-20 billion pesos a year.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan in his message via zoom commended the farmers and fisherfolks on their efforts and sacrifices in the attainment of food sufficiency in the country. “You have been feeding the nation for centuries, thank you for your efforts and sacrifices. I believe in time you will be repaid and recognized properly for all your hard work. This 21M is just but one of the many undertaking efforts to support our farmers and fisherfolks. We are together in this effort to really bring about genuine change for our farmers and fisherfolks,” he remarked.
In response, Apayao Provincial Agriculturist Prudencio Bosing, Ifugao Provincial Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Officer Domingo Mariano, Bangued, Abra Councilor Serafin Alzate, and Benguet Former PCL President Nestor Fongwan, Jr. expressed their utmost gratitude to Pangilinan for his initiative in bringing the interventions to the Cordillera.
Ultimately, Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Atty. Jennilyn Dawayan reminded the beneficiaries to take care of these support they received. “I hope that you will be able to take care of these interventions because that is still your money as taxpayers. More so that you are lucky today because not all provinces were given,” she said. Dawayan also appreciated the unwavering support of the various local governments at every department event.
Engr. Regine Patinio from the National HVCDP and her team, Virginia Tapat, DA-CAR Field Operations Division Chief, Joan Bacbac, DA-CAR HVCDP Focal Person, APCO Abra Rosemarie Tesoro, APCO Ifugao Charlemagne Monayao, and Engr. Jonathan Pakipac from the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division were also present during the activity. By LDMendoza