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PBBM lauds farmers for contribution to food security, economic development

SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ — President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. thanked Filipino farmers for their contribution to the country’s food security and economic development.

Marcos highlighted that Central Luzon, particularly Nueva Ecija, is known for its prosperity and efficiency in the agricultural sector, making it the Rice Granary of the Philippines.

“In Nueva Ecija alone, we have about 134,000 farmers who are striving every day to ensure that all Filipino families have enough food on their tables. To your huge contribution to the country’s agriculture, we are wholeheartedly thanking every one of you, for your efforts so that our countrymen could eat,” he stated during the distribution of assistance to the farmers of Nueva Ecija.

About 80 percent of the land area of the region is intended for agriculture, particularly for rice farming.

It is the top rice-producing region with a 19% share to the total palay production of the country in the fourth quarter of 2022.

With this, Marcos pledged that his administration will continue to support the agriculture sector by elevating the condition of farmers through mechanization and modernization towards food sufficiency.

“We have seen what happened when we resorted too much in importation. When there was a lockdown [due to COVID-19 pandemic], we had a difficulty in food supply… If it happens again, we will be ready and we could say that even though we will not import, we will have enough supply of food for the people,” he stated.

The Chief Executive added that the national government will aid farmers to help them keep up amid rising fuel prices, and the El Niño or the dry season.

As the secretary of Agriculture, Marcos underscored that all plans and programs of his administration in terms of economic development are centered in the agriculture sector.

“If our agricultural production is not good, we will be able to usher in economic development. If we will not be able to feed our own people, how will they be able to have jobs? How will they be able to send their children to school if they are not given enough food to eat? This is why agriculture is our priority,” he emphasized.

He added that the about P537 million worth of farm machinery provided by Department of Agriculture (DA) to about 2,500 farmers will aid them not only in terms of production, nourishment, harvesting, but also in post-production facilities and marketing.

During the event, DA awarded financial aid to farmers and cooperatives for the funding of their onion cold storage systems, Enhanced Kadiwa projects, small water impounding projects, and Philippine Rural Development projects.

The agency also released cash assistance to rice farmers under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, fuel discount cards to corn farmers and financial assistance to hog farmers under the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion program.

Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization provided 12,644 machines for land preparation consisting of four-wheel tractors, one-hand tractors, floating tillers, and farm implements.

For crop establishment, 3,387 units of machines were distributed including precision seeders, walk-behind transplanters, and riding-type transplanters.

For harvesting and threshing, 6,979 units of equipment were given to the beneficiaries including reapers, combine harvesters, and threshers.

Likewise, 1,338 units for drying and milling were turned over to the recipients.

And lastly, DA and Kyungpook National University of South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture and Fishery Development for the improvement of the country’s crop and fish production.

Source: PIA 3

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