UMINGAN, Pangasinan, Sept 24 (PIA) - The 300 hectares of consolidated farms in Brgy. Diaz here will be established as one of the pilot areas of the Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation Program (F2C2) of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1.
In a statement on Monday, the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) Ilocos Region said the F2C2 is the first formal, comprehensive, and holistic government initiative to be implemented at the national level to address the agriculture sector's current issues on lack of access to credit and capital, modern farming and fishery methods, farm mechanization, post-harvest and processing facilities, transport and logistics, packaging support, and information and technology, among others.
The statement informed that for this project, DA-RFO1 will be partnering with Pangasinan Farmers' Agricultural Cooperative which was selected given the potential of their farm land, mostly rolling hills, for the adoption of the F2C2 farming set-up.
It added that the cooperative is composed of diverse members having residents from the municipality of Mangaldan and provinces of Masbate, Capiz, and Batangas, who chose to settle in the area with an average residence of two years after their livelihood was devastated by strong typhoons in the past years.
Further, initial consultations were held identifying water irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, lack of farm machinery and agricultural inputs, and pests as major problems in order to strengthen farmers' participation in the implementation of the project.
The 300-hectare pilot area will be developed for the production of rice, corn, high value vegetable crops, fruit trees, livestock, and fisheries.
"As per guidelines signed by Secretary William Dar, DA-RFO1 will be providing technical guidance to support the farmers' production activities and access to existing financial assistance programs along with the provision of their needed training," the RAFIS said.
Meanwhile, in Ibajay, Aklan, Mayor Jose Enrique Miraflores, thanked DA for their National Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Program during the Laging Handa Network Briefing, saying the LGU has been a recipient of seeds and fertilizers that were distributed to their farmers enabling them to plant crop in this season.
"We are very successful in our rice industry. Sa ngayon, heavily dependent pa rin 'yung mga rice farmers namin sa kung ano pa yung mga puwedeng mabigay ng Department of Agriculture na tulong," Miraflores said adding that "we would like to appeal to DA that if they have other programs to help our farmers, it is very welcome it, especially that at this time ng pandemic, every help counts."
The Network Briefing News, anchored by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, airs from Mondays to Fridays, 9 am to 10 am in all stations of Radyo Pilipinas and streamed live in all regional and provincial Facebook pages of the Philippine Information Agency in the country. (JCR/AMB/JNPD, EMSA, PIA Pangasinanwith reports from RAFIS Ilocos Region)