The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to implement adjustments on the country's food security programs to cushion the impact of global economic challenges and Russia-Ukraine crisis in the Philippines.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar lauded the immediate and resolute approval by President Rodrigo Duterte of various measures proposed by the Agriculture department, which include the additional budget to fund part two of the DA's flagship Plant, Plant, Plant Program and the realignment of the agency's budget for 2022.
During the meeting, President Duterte gave assurances that mitigating measures and contingency plans will be in place as part of the government's proactive response to the conflict in Ukraine.
He also approved the recommendations of his economic team to strengthen the domestic economy, stabilize food prices, provide social protection and explore diplomatic channels to help resolve the conflict.
Dar said the bulk of the recommended additional budget would be allotted for the provision of fertilizer subsidy to farmers planting rice, corn, high-value crops, sugarcane and coconut; and respective budgets for urban and peri-urban agriculture, production of animal feeds using local materials, enhancement of aquaculture and mariculture fishery production, and food mobilization and logistics through the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita marketing program.
Other measures approved by the President include the provision of concessional loans by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) and Development Bank of the Philippines to provincial local government units for palay (unmilled rice) procurement and rice buffer stocking, and transfer of oversight of the National Irrigation Administration back to the department.
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