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Due to recurrent issues on late seeds and seedlings deliveries, poor yield and problems in coordination, the Department of Agriculture has set out to prepare farmers for year 2020 where the provision of free seedlings by the government will be stopped. Instead, the increase of Production Loan Easy Access and other lending packages for farmers will be increased. More and more farmers are also encouraged to be seed producers in their own locale. This was announced by Regional Executive Director (RED) Edillo on the first meeting of Agricultural and Fisheries Council, (AFC) of the Cordillera last March 26, 2018 with the DA-CAR.

This new system under the new administration is seen to increase rice production and mitigate problems related to the DA’s seed assistance. As President Duterte encourages the farmers to go back to the basic, it is the goal for the farmers to be more independent in acquiring their inputs and in that have more control on their return on investment. Mirroring the president’s goals the directives of the Secretary Many Piñol to the Agricultural Credit Policy Council to produce more loan packages and crop insurance programs advances administration’s 10 point agenda for the agriculture sector.

Next year (2019) will be the last year that the DA’s seed subsidy project will be given. The farmers not will not receive their seedlings from the agency and instead will acquire or grow their own seedlings.  “Maawat yun to ti binhi nga preferred or kayat yu iti oras nga kasapolan yo. Dayta ti pagbabago nga we should look forward to in this administration.” said RED Edillo.

After being updated with the protocols and requirements for submission of project proposals and all the processes in its requisition, the director urged the AFC officials to open up on their concerns and issues with respect to the implementation of the agency’s projects and how the machineries and brands provided are performing. He also informed the participants of a notice from the secretary’s office to inventory all machineries and maximize their functionality.

A representative from the  Provincial AFC in Ifugao, Ms. Roselyn Montoya, gave much appreciation to the meeting as it was the first time they were all gathered and their concerns were actually heard.// Kheyna Capuyan