DA CHIEF WALKS THE TALK ON AGRI

Agriculture Secretary William Dar walks the talk insofar as his thrust on a revival of the agriculture sector is concerned, one of the avenues by which the country could benefit from, and in taking out the sting of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Dar has been the lone voice in his vision for empowering farmers and the fisherfolk and the way he has been going all over the country to put the final touch to his all-encompassing vision to what he terms as “reenergizing the agriculture sector” is a kaleidoscope of great ideas.

Consider his take on a host of issues: advocacy for urban farming; embrace of hybrid seed for rice farming; recommendation for local government units to pivot to the “ayuda” in the form of vegetables, fish and other agri products instead of cash and canned goods; approval for the building of vegetable processing facilities.

Dar had gone to military camps, sought audiences with the private sector like the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and asked for ways to promote urban farming – for vacant lots to be planted to vegetables , for boy scouts to lead in the plant, plant, plant inititive.

In his gameplan for a Rice Resliency Project, he has ordered rice hectarages planted to hybrid palay seeds which more than double palay harvest. He has also seen to it that the government rice buffer stock during the lean months of the harvest season to ensure adequate rice supply.

And the best roadmap he had was that pivot in the giving of ayuda to those families that were to be given help as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. The DA was able to amass P5 billion worth of orders of rice, fish and vegetables that were bought by LGUs, thanks to Dar’s intercession.

Last week, in a meeting at Benguet with the staff from the Cordillera Administrative Region, he approved a plan to put up a P20 million processing facility to ensure that vegetable produce get a new lease on life and allow the farmers to make money.

That facility was borne out of a problem that farmers from Tinoc, Ifugao had to contend with last month when they had to dump tomatoes because of the lack of buyers. And as an interim measure, he linked up the farmers to buyers and more than P166,000.

And the linkage? Why, the e-Kadiwa app that Dar pushed where buyers and sellers meet in a digital platform.

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