MANILA – Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar yesterday recommended to lawmakers a P66-billion stimulus plan to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus disease on the agriculture sector.
During a virtual hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture and Food, Dar said the stimulus package would include P15 billion for the cash for work program for agri-fishery workers, P20 billion for food logistics or food markets, and P31 billion for “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (Alpas) Kontra sa Covid-19” program.
Dar said the cash for work program aims to provide jobs to one million agri-fishery workers by granting each beneficiary aid worth P15,000.
“The goal of this program is to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 by ensuring the basic food requirements of poor farming families," he said.
For the food logistics program proposal, he said P15 billion will be allocated for food logistics and food markets, P1.8 billion for expanding extension support to local government units, P1 billion for the strengthening of price monitoring and enforcement system, P1 billion for agricultural and fisheries commodity exchange system, P1 billion for digital agriculture, and P200 million for communication support to Agri-4Ps or Plant, Plant, Plant Program.
The program seeks to ensure proper food distribution and strengthen food supply links from farms to markets.
For the Alpas Kontra sa Covid-19, Dar said P8 billion will be allocated for rice buffer stocking,P8.24 billion for rice resiliency program during the dry season, P1.75 billion for integrated livestock and corn resiliency, P1 billion for expanded coconut-based diversification project, P1.2 billion for fisheries resiliency project, P2 billion for expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project, and P2 billion for expanded agriculture insurance project.
Also included in the Alpas Kontra sa Covid-19 program are the upscaling of Kadiwa in Ani at Kita program worth P1 billion, expanded small ruminants and poultry at P1 billion, enhanced white corn production for food resiliency at P300 million, urban agriculture project at P500 million, revitalized gulayan project at P1 billion, sustained information, education and communication project at P500 million, and social amelioration program for farmers and fishers at P3 billion.*PNA
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