THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will spend a third of its P24-billion stimulus fund under the Bayanihan 2 for income-enhancement projects, which includes P5.5 billion worth of farm-to-market connectivity projects and P600-million worth of provincial trading centers.
A DA document obtained by the BusinessMirror showed the department is spending P8.790 billion on income-enhancement projects meant to improve the country’s farm logistics, postharvest facilities, provide loan, farm clustering and farm-to-market connectivity.
The document showed DA is spending P550 million to form agri-industrial business corridors (ABCs) in a bid to entice private investment into agribusinesses.
The DA will use P100 million to kick-start its farm and fisheries clustering and consolidation program to help farmers achieve economies of scale and ensure efficiency of farm interventions.
The document indicated that the DA will spend a total of P940 million for post-harvest facilities, including P320 million for packing houses with cold storage for fruit crops and vegetables; P280 million for poultry-cutting facilities; P200 million for reefer vans and P20 million for rendering trucks.
The DA will also spend about P120 million for food processing-related projects, according to the document.
The DA is spending P500 million for its inclusive Agribiz/Social Entrep Support/ Business Incubation in Agriculture (BIAG) project.
The DA is also allocating P200 million for its Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and P100 million for its digital agriculture-related programs and projects.
The DA will spend P100 million for its “Mentoring and Attracting Youth in Agriculture” program and another P100 million to fund its Agriculture Dialogue and Information Network Groups (ADING), which is its “integrity management implementation and advocacy program.”
Some P100 million is set aside for DA’s strategic and development communication programs and projects.
The DA is spending P8.71 billion for productivity enhancement projects that include a P5-billion rice resiliency project (RRP) for the dry season planting, which provides free fertilizer and seeds to farmers, among others.
The DA will use P750 million to rehabilitate the country’s Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers (RIARCs) to develop high-quality seeds/seedlings and even breed for livestock to improve yield in every region.
The DA is allotting P500 million to ramp up its urban agriculture projects and another P500 million to set up nucleus and multiplier breeder farms for poultry, swine and small ruminants. The DA will also spend another P500 million building aquaculture/seaweeds/sea urchin/glass eel hatcheries.
The DA is allocating P470 million for pests and diseases management-related projects and P234 million for the construction of the country’s first Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, to improve the country’s biosecurity efforts. The DA will also use P50 million for research on transboundary plant diseases.
The high value crops sector would receive P310 million worth of projects, according to the DA document. The DA will also kickstart a P98-million cattle feedlot fattening project and spend P16 million for the construction of dairy processing buildings.
Meanwhile, some P150 million will go to a massive seed/seedling production for vegetables and fruits. The department will also spend P132 million to procure mobile trucks with diamond deep well drillers.
Lastly, the remaining P6.5-billion stimulus fund of the DA will be devoted for social protection and social amelioration projects that includes a P4-billion worth of cash and food subsidy to marginal farmers and fisherfolk.
The remaining P2.5 billion will be used for the expanded SURE Aid & Recovery Project that offers a P25,000 no interest, no collateral, zero interest and payable in 10 years loan to Filipino farmers.