The City Agriculture Office (CAO) here is urging farmers to form or join cooperatives to benefit from the various government programs aimed at increasing their income.
CAO chief Shiela Naz, in an interview on Monday, said she is encouraging farmers to become members of associations because this is part of the requirements for enlistment in the Registry System for Basic Sector of Agriculture (RSBSA).
“The RSBSA is part of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization program of the Department of Agriculture that is giving the farmers free farm equipment including, certified and hybrid palay seedlings, fertilizers, free seminars for the farmers and cash assistance,” Naz said.
RCEF is part of Republic Act 11203, the Rice Tariffication Law which aims to cut the cost of rice production through the use of an accurate, effective, and complete set of machinery to reduce post-harvest losses.
Naz said through the RCEF program, the CAO has distributed 1,011 sacks of hybrid palay as well as 1,694 sacks of certified palay seedlings and 2,589 sacks of fertilizers.
Some 1,200 legitimate farmers planting 525 hectares of farmland have benefited from the assistance from DA, she added.
“Presently, we have 15 farmers associations who already received wheel tractors, hand tractors, palay threshers, combine harvesters, and walk behind transplanters that they used for their planting activities,” Naz said.
Aside from farming, CAO has also supported fishermen’s associations by giving them free fingerlings.
Naz said around 10,000 bangus (milkfish) and 205,000 tilapia fingerlings have been distributed to the fishermen’s groups as part of the Aqua-Culture Development Program of the CAO to promote culture fish care and give more income to fisherfolk. (PNA)