PHILIPPINES - Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Governor Edgardo Chatto have jointly signed a Memorandum of Agreement which officially kicks off the implementation of the Philippine Rural Development Programme in the province of Bohol.
PRDP is a six-year programme designed to establish inclusive and market oriented agri-fishery sector through strategic investments in priority commodity value chains expanding market access, and improving competitiveness among others.
“I encourage local leaders to take part in the PRDP,” Mr Alcala said stressing that the programme can be instrumental in funding major projects relative to growth in agri-fishery sector in their respective areas.
“You will be able to speed up agriculture-related projects in your locality with the PRDP, with only 10 per cent equity of the total project cost,” Mr Alcala explained.
He further added that PRDP requires local governments to be able to propose lucrative projects that are aligned with the priority commodities of their region
Mr Alcala’s recent visit to Bohol on March 22, 2014 was highlighted by the turn-over of over P90-million worth of agriculture projects and farm implements to local executive chiefs, farmers and fishers.
The assistance package is part of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) rehabilitation assistance to the province which was struck and gravely affected by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in October last year.
In an effort to rehabilitate damaged seaweed farms and aquaculture projects, Mr Alcala awarded a total of P32M to finance recovery efforts in various fishery initiatives.
DA has also set aside P5M for the construction of the farm-to-market road in Cogon Norte.
The Agri chief also pledged to provide corn mill to the province in the next four months, if they plant more corn. Moreover, he promised to provide tractor for the corn farmers if they are able to expand corn plantations to at least 500 hectares.
“With every metric ton of corn grits you eat, there is less pressure in rice consumption,” Mr Alcala said expressing his delight that there are residents in the province who consume corn grits.
Other projects that were distributed during the event include over 300 coconut salt fertilizers, 300 coconut seedlings, 48 heads of goats, 10 carabaos with implements, 10 cows, 10 sets of goats (four does, one buck), and five sets of native pigs (five sows, one boar).
Alcala also inspected the Manga Fish Port in Tagbilaran for possible rehabilitation and upgrading. The fish port was damaged during the earthquake, and needs to be assessed first before reconstruction takes place.
The Secretary sees the fish port as a potential fishing hub and market for local fishers and tourists. He even suggested that high value fish species such as pompano and lapu-lapu be cultivated in fish cages around the port, and sold to tourists frequenting Bohol.
During the visit, Mr Alcala also praised the resiliency and positive outlook of the Boholanos who are able to rise quickly after the catastrophic earthquake.
TheFishSite News Desk