Corn farmers of Manolo Fortich is the first batch to get their fuel discount amounting to P3,000.00 each.
Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon – To cushion the impact of fuel price hikes on farmers and fishers in ensuring food security, the Department of Agriculture – Northern Mindanao (DA-10) officially launched the Fuel Discount Program for Corn Farmers at the Municipal Gym of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon on June 3, 2022.
DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C Collado said, under the program, each qualified corn farmer is granted with P3,000.00 in fuel discount as part of DA’s instituted measures with the constant increase of fuel prices which affects agricultural operations, thus maximizing the utilization of farm machineries and facilities.
Some 131 corn farmers from said town were the first batch of the fuel subsidy program-recipients throughout region 10, which were pooled from funds of the DA-Corn Program.
Pursuant to the Special Provision of the General Appropriations Act for the current fiscal year, a total amount of P500 million (M) is apportioned to provide fuel discount to corn farmers, including that of fisherfolk for the machineries used in corn production from land preparation to postharvest activities and motorized boats for fishing operations.
For NorMin, the target is pegged at about 9,500 corn farmers with a total allocation of P28-M.
According to Richan D. Lacanaria, DA-10 corn focal person, the subsidy shall only be used to buy gasoline or fuel diesel from accredited petroleum retail outlets.
To qualify for the fuel subsidy, he added, a corn farmer must be duly registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and encoded in the Farmers and Fisherfolk Registry System (FFRS), and an individual or his/or farmer’s cooperative or association must also own functional machinery with proof of ownership and must be further listed in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Management Information System (ABEMIS).
Marymee H. Castro of the Aggies Multi-Purpose Cooperative of barangay Maluko conveyed her appreciation for said assistance saying, “Lubos ang aking pasasalamat sa DA na naisipan nila ang programang ito na makakatulong talaga sa aming mga magsasaka dahil sa taas ng bilihin ngayon, at halos ang mga gamit naming pansaka ay gumagamit ng gasolina na nakakadagdag sa production cost sa aming tinatanim na mais.”
She added that the fuel subsidy will be used for their coop’s corn sheller, corn mill and other postharvest facilities.
Recognizing that most of the municipality’s fuel discount program-beneficiaries are farmer cooperatives, association-members, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga further urged the attending farmers to form into clusters in order to avail more agri interventions from the government, especially those big-ticket projects such as the provision of farm tractors, combine harvesters, solar dryer facilities, warehouses, among others.
Under the Duterte administration and Secretary Dar’s helm, she said, that the agri department is advocating for farm consolidation and clustering, as it involves the integration of government interventions to organized farmer-groups, with the aim to empower stakeholders to reduce production costs and reap benefits in the agri value chain.# (Joanne L. Olson)