DA proposes P32-B food security program to cushion impact of Covid-19

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To ensure production of adequate, accessible and affordable food, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is requesting for a P32-billion supplemental budget to implement a food security program, dubbed as "Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19."

"This initiative, on top of the Department’s existing programs, is aimed at averting food shortage, supply disruptions, and unstable prices due to the adverse impact of Covid-19 on farm and fishery production, and transport of basic commodities and processed food products to urban areas, particularly Metro Manila," said agriculture secretary William Dar.

"The ALPAS COVID-19 program will enable the country to attain
a food-secure Philippines during this national emergency period," the DA chief added.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect a tightening of global food supply. We are aware that when there is not enough food, disorder is probable," he said.

"While improving our food adequacy level, we should aim for food security. If no action is done, the threat of hunger is as real as the threat of the virus,” he noted.

"Therefore, we will expand farm areas, improve production efficiencies, and enhance projects and activities to ensure affordability and availability of food supply,” secretary Dar added.

The P32-B supplemental budget includes:
• P8.5B - rice resiliency project;
• P7B - palay procurement fund of the National Food Authority;
• P3B - expanded SURE Aid and recovery project;
• P3B - expanded agriculture insurance project;
• P3B - social amelioration for farmers and farm workers;
• P1B - upscaling of KADIWA ni Ani at Kita;
• P1B - integrated livestock and corn resiliency project;
• P1B - expanded small ruminants and poultry project;
• P1B - coconut-based diversification project;
• P1B - fisheries resiliency project;
• P1B - revitalized gulayan project;
• P500M - urban agriculture project;
• P500M - acquisition of protective personal equipment;
• P300M - corn for food project; and
• P200M - information, education and communications project. ### (Adora Rodriguez, DA-AFID)

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