DA releases P24.8M in funding for Davao City

Subscribe Now April 24, 2015 at 11:45am

The Department of Agriculture (DA) turned over this week P24.8 million to the city of Davao for projects by the City Agriculturist Office (CAO) and the Veterinarian Office under the Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (GPB) system, previously known as the bottom-up-budgeting program.

Some P11 million in counterpart funds has also been allocated by the city government, according to Roselio T. Tabay, CAO chief.

The funds will support sustainable agroforestry development (P7 million); output upgrades for vegetables (P2.8 million); rice (P3.5 million); and corn (P1.6 million); the municipal fishery development project (P4.5 million); restocking efforts for raisers of goat (P3.2 million), free-range chicken (P600,000), and swine (P50,000); and a biogas digester project (P1.5 million).

“This is part of the 2014 (program), but was implemented only now through the bottom-up approach,” Mr. Tabay said.

The GPB, first implemented by the national government in 2013, engages communities and local government units in the budget planning process by soliciting proposals that could be included in the priority list.

Mr. Tabay said while the released funds are not allocated specifically to address the effects of El Niño, the timing is crucial in helping mitigate the impact of a drought that has already affected 11,151 farmers.

The CAO estimates that more than 7,000 hectares (ha) of agricultural land in Davao City, about 2,718 of which are planted to fruit-bearing trees, have been affected by the dry spell. “DA extended irrigation facilities to the city. These can be used in our agriculture areas that will be badly hit by the dry spell,’’ Mr. Tabay said.

The CAO is still validating the specific effects of El Niño but it has already requested the Agriculture department to consider the area for cloud seeding.

Mr. Tabay admitted that for now the city government itself can only provide assistance to the affected farmers by facilitating requests for livelihood assistance to other government agencies like the DA, Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Labor and Employment.

He added, however, that the local calamity fund could be tapped for assistance should the situation worsen and the council declare a state of calamity in the city.

Meanwhile, Armando C. Ansingco, chairman of the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council in Davao Region, said among the areas that will most likely be badly hit by the drought are Mati City in Davao Oriental and San Isidro in Davao del Sur as these areas have high humidity levels.

The fishery sector is among those already feeling the effects of El Niño.

“The dry season will affect inland fish production,” Mr. Ansingco said, noting that the dry spell will not only affect the sources of water for irrigation but also the supply of fresh water for fishponds.

In Davao City, a barangay specializing in catfish production reported that growers have been forced to harvest fish that are not yet fully grown due to the decrease in water sources.

The eateries fronting the catfish production areas have already increased prices by P20 per kilo.

Source: bworldonline.com

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