VICTORIA, ORIENTAL MINDORO - Over 700 farmers initially received P5,000 financial grant assistance during the launching of the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro on January 21, 2020. This was spearheaded by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar.
“The DA has always been in collaboration with the Provincial Government and the municipalities of Oriental Mindoro. That’s the way it should be working in the countryside. They [local government] are our front liners because they are our food security czar in different provinces and municipalities,” Secretary Dar said.
Dar also said that on top of P53 million RFFA assistance through the Development Bank of the Philippines to more than 10,000 farmers tilling half to two-hectare farm, the national government has still more to give which he quoted as “gift” to Oriental Mindoro.
He said that this 2020, apart from the relief assistance given due to Typhoon Tisoy and Ursula last December, the DA will release P100 million for crop production and P6 million for animal production for Oriental Mindoro. He added that the farmers of Oriental Mindoro are also included in the Rice Competitive Enhancement Fund (RCEF) worth P115 million this semester.
“This [RCEF] will strengthen our farmers to increase their harvest, be competitive, thereby increase their income,” Dar said. “In Oriental Mindoro, starting now, the 28,000 hectares will be devoted to rice production and the assistance is in the form of machineries, seeds, training and credit,” Dar added.
Secretary Dar also disclosed that the DA is already finalizing a project between Israel Group of Companies for the Solar Power Irrigation System (SPIS) where he will allot one (1) SPIS to Oriental Mindoro.
He also pledged to support the proposals of Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor for the upgrade of Rice Processing Center, Food Terminal or “Bagsakan” Center in Victoria worth P57 million and Farm to Market Road Projects of the provincial government.
Lastly, he also committed to upgrade the Food Innovation Center and Banana Tissue Culture of the Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology, which he said will fortify the saba industry in the province.
Aside from Oriental Mindoro, Secretary Dar also visited the Province of Occidental Mindoro which also severely hit by Typhoon Ursula to give aid and assistance to agriculture sector.