DA and DBP Sign Supplemental MOA for the Fertilizer Discount Support Project

SAN AGUSTIN, PILLI, CAMARINES SUR – The Department of Agriculture Regional Office No.5. V   and the Development Bank of the Philippines through their respective representatives signed a supplemental agreement in connection with the implementation of the Fertilizer Discount Vouchers Support to Rice Farmers under the National Rice Program. The DA RFO- V was represented by Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla while the DBP was represented by SAVP Roderick F. Barbado, head, Branch Banking Group –Bicol.

The MOA stipulates that the DA shall provide the funds necessary to support the project implementation to be entrusted/deposited to the DBP through a project fund account to be opened by the former. Payments for merchandise or fertilizers as supported by vouchers in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations shall be made by the DBP.

It would be recalled that on January 08, 2021 Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued a Memorandum to the RFOs for the implementation of fertilizer distribution activity under Crop Year 2021 to 2022 to allow blended fertilizer distribution scheme in partnership with government financial institutions. The DA and DBP national offices entered into and signed as MOA on June 24, 2021 and June 29, 2021 for the implementation of programs and projects of DA offices and agencies with DBP.

The DA-RFO-V has been allocated with Php 348,854,000 for this Fertilizer Discount Vouchers Project for Rice Farmers for Wet and Dry Season Cropping 2021 to 2022.  Priority provinces are Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.  However, farmers in CLUSTER areas (provinces included in the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Program or RCEF which are Albay, Masbate & Sorsogon) are also eligible. Farmers who are registered under the Registry System for BASIC Sectors (RSBSA) in areas with low fertilizer adoption rate and those rice farmers who received the high quality seeds in the targeted rice areas shall be given preference to allow them to adopt the full high yielding technology practices.

Qualified farmers will be provided with fertilizer voucher coupons (with QR code) they can use to claim the fertilizer. This discount voucher shall have the value equivalent to PhP2,000 per hectare for inbred and PhP3,000.00/ha for hybrid palay seeds planted.

Discount vouchers are for one-time use and may be claimed at any accredited fertilizer merchant in the farmer’s preferred area.

DA-accredited fertilizer dealers/distributors/merchant shall claim the cost of subsidy through the DBP.  All vouchers shall be processed/issued by the DA-RFO (to farmers through LGUS) based on the list of seed beneficiaries submitted by LGUs.

The MOA signing  held at the DA Regional Office on August 27, 2021 was witnessed by  Luz R. Marcelino, DA-RFO V Regional Technical Director for Operations and  Jennifer C. Naval, head, DBP Naga Branch.  Also present were: Lorenzo Alvina, Regional Rice and Corn Program Coordinator; Evangeline Poloyapoy, Regional Accountant and some staff of the DA and DBP. # # # (Text by Emily B. Bordado &  photo by Antonio Hermito Privaldos / DA-RFO V)

Having proven that Siqujor is a potential area for cassava production, the Department of Agriculture-Central Visayas (DA7) recently launched the cassava seed pieces production project in Lazi, Siquijor.

Rodolfo Anulacion, Agriculturist II of DA7 in Siquijor said that the project aims to maximize the potential of cassava in the province.

“By adopting the modern farming technologies in cassava planting, Siquijor can really produce good yield of cassava, as proven in last year’s harvest,” said Anulacion.

Provincial Agriculturist Emigdio Coritico, shared the same observation, saying that Siquijor showed good cassava performance based on the tubers produce. He said that with the cassava seed pieces project, more farmers from other barangays and municipalities can avail of cassava cultivars. This will usher the development of the cassava industry in the province.

Coritico said that the Rayong 5 cassava variety they harvested in Enrique Villanueva last year had the highest yield and starch content, hence this cultivar is highly recommended for seed pieces production.

Farmer cooperator Michael Malhin said that the cassava project will greatly help farmers improved their farming practices. “Paningkamutan naku nga mapadaghan kining mga balanghoy ug makapa-ambit ko sa laing mag-uuma,” said Malhin.# # # (DA-RFO VII, RAFIS)

DA chief launches book of quotes, his aspirations for Phl agri

To serve as inspiration and motivation in attaining the shared vision and goals of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Secretary William Dar recently launched a book titled, “Bringing hope, winning hearts,” a compilation of quotes, containing his thoughts and aspirations for Philippine agriculture.

“Communication comes with the obligation of sharing to the world what we have learned and experienced, and what we continue to discover in the process. For us at the Department of Agriculture, there is a need to constantly communicate with the public not only to keep them informed on what we are doing, but also to enable them to understand why we are doing so. We want them to appreciate how we cope with and address current and emerging issues that affect their daily lives and the future of their children,” he said.

National Scientist Emil Q. Javier, in his message in the book, mentioned how it could serve as an inspiration, not just to national leaders and stakeholders, but also to the young people.

“It distills the many important lessons the author has learned over his forty years of engagement and service to agriculture…This should serve as inspiration in helping farmers earn a respectable living for themselves, while preserving the environment for the generations yet to come,” said Javier, who previously served as science minister and president of the University of the Philippines

Meanwhile, in his foreword, Dr. Cielito F. Habito — former NEDA chief and socio-economic planning secretary — said the appointment of Secretary Dar is one of the most welcome Cabinet appointments made by President Rodrigo Duterte, bringing back to a vital government department the competent technocratic leadership it has always needed.

“His leadership is a breath of fresh new air.  He came into office bringing the most credible promise of true change in a sector in need of new perspectives and approaches, particularly in its governance,” added Habito, who is currently a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University professor and director of its Center for Economic Research and Development.

For his part, former Philippine Rice Research Institute Director Dr. Santiago Obien said that Secretary Dar’s management style is not from training, but overflows from his mind and heart.

“He is more than the slogan he came up with. For agriculture, Willie Dar always means business,” added Obien, who continues to share his expertise as DA senior technical adviser.

In all, the 158-page publication contains secretary Dar’s nuggets of ideas, grouped according to the four pillars of the “OneDA Reform Agenda” to transform Philippine Agriculture, namely: consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization.

Other items include macro and micro crosscutting ideas, which include: food security, urban agriculture, soil health, balanced fertilization, needed investments in agriculture, transparency in governance and service, international partnerships, and pandemic-related pronouncements, among others.

“I hope this compilation serves as an inspiration for all readers and motivates us in our journey to attain our shared vision and goals, and more importantly bring hope to our people, and win the hearts of others, especially critics and skeptics,” Dar concluded.

The book, available in printed and electronic copy, was produced by the DA-OSEC Strategic Communications (StratComms) and Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (AFID), and published by the DA’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). # # # (Rita dela Cruz, DA StratComms)