REGIONAL NEWS: Nine Agriculture programs eyed to ease Isabela farmers’ woes

ILAGAN, Isabela – The provincial government is preparing to launch nine agriculture programs that will directly benefit some 10,000 farmers in this province with less than one hectare rice or corn farm.

Dubbed as “Sagut Kadagiti Mannalon” (gift of farmers), the programs are scheduled to be launched during the scheduled Farmers’ Congress on February 29.

Herminigildo Jacob, provincial information officer said the Bojie-Rodito Opportunities Loan Assistance where small farmers will be given loans from P3,000 up to P4,000 without interest will be among the programs to be launched.

He said that under the said program, the interest-free loan will not be repaid when a farmer has a yield of 120 cavans in a hectare. Paras said this will encourage farmers to increase their yield from the traditional 80 cavans to P120 cavans per hectare.

Secondly, Jacob said a Pantawid Pamasahe Program will also be offered to below-one hectare farmer owners this cropping season where P.50 centavos will be subsidized by the provincial government for every kilo of rice or corn that are sold in either in the National Food Authority (NFA) or to the private traders.

Thirdly, Jacob said the provincial government will also be maintaining the NFA price support fund from P10 million last year and another P10 million again this year and; the crop insurance will also be continuously be implemented as the provincial government has alloted P10 million last year and this year it will be P20 million.

Jacob also said that the Bojie-Rodito Opportunities for Health care to 10,000 small farmers will also be introduced during the congress, including free PhilHealth premiums, Social Security premiums, BRO-scholarship to sons and daughters of small farmers, and life insurance coverage to small farmer owners.

“The provincial administrator Atty. Noel Manuel R. Lopez himself said that no province has ever conceptualized this ambitious dream of the present administration for the farmers of Isabela,” Jacob said.#