The Department of Agriculture turned over more than P130 million-worth of agri- fishery interventions in the Cordillera region to boost agricultural productivity, and ensure food security. Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. led the turn-over and distribution of various assistance to farmers, fisherfolks, and irrigators from all over the region during his recent visit in La Trinidad. Distributed under DA’s Rice Banner Program is the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) where 15 farmers received
P5,000 each. The Cordillera region got a share of more than P619 million benefitting 122,130 eligible rice farmers under the RCEFRFFA in 2023.

The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, the lead agency in the implementation of the RCEF mechanization program, distributed more than P82 million-worth of rice production, and post production facilities and machineries to 31 farmer cooperatives, and the local government units of Kalinga and Ifugao. Three farmer cooperative associations in Mountain Province also received three units of multi-cultivators worth P417,000 under the highvalue crops development program. DA also distributed assistance amounting to more than P25 million to typhoon Egay-affected rice farmers of Benguet thru the Quick Response Fund.

Seven completed irrigation projects of the National Irrigation Administration were turned over to irrigators associations beneficiaries in the region. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also turned over a community fish landing center amounting to P3.7 million in Abra, and a fish cage livelihood project worth more than P2 million to three organizations in Apayao. Tiu Laurel said that the mandate given to him by President Marcos Jr. is to help the “unsung heroes” – the farmers,fisher folks and agricultural workers – thru the “Masaganang Bagong
Pilipinas” program, which aims to boost agricultural productivity, lower food costs, ensure food security, and make
farming and fisheries attractive investment alternatives to the private sector.

“The Masaganang Bagong Pilipinas program focuses on expanding agrifisheries for increased production, modernizing agriculture and fishery production systems, and developing and improving post-harvest facilities and
infrastructure. I came here to consult with you for us to plan our budgets for this year, and 2025. There is a need for us to be coordinated starting from the farmer directly to my office,” the secretary said. Under the program,
highland areas like the Cordillera region will benefit from the establishment of postharvest facilities like cold
storage, tram lines, roads, various trading posts, and upland irrigation.


Amianan Balita Ngayon