President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assured Wednesday the government has sufficient resources and support from the private sector to restore the optimum productivity of the agriculture sector after decades of neglect.
In his speech during the 70th founding anniversary of the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) in Quezon City, he said a big step towards addressing the issue is by fast tracking the modernization of the sector to boost its productivity.
He noted the Department of Agriculture (DA), which he heads, has allocated P4.73 billion for large-scale agriculture and fishery mechanization and modernization.
The successful implementation of the modernization will help guarantee affordable local food supply and reduce the country’s dependence on importation.
The initiative, he said, is expected to be sustained in the proposed P92.4 billion budget of DA for 2024.
“You have my assurance that the government is striving to implement efficient mechanization strategies to reduce post-harvest losses and to ensure the optimal yield at an affordable cost,” Marcos told members of the FFF.
He also stressed the important contribution of private stakeholders, such as the FFF in ensuring the success and sustainability of such agricultural reforms of the DA.
“This is the kind of uplifting synergy that we in government anticipate from our private sector partners who ardently champion social justice and actively contribute to our nation’s socioeconomic advancement,” the President said.
“So, I urge all the members of the FFF to keep the legacy of the founding members, keep it alive, stay true to the mission of uplifting all the lives of every Filipino rural worker,” he added.
For his part, FFF Board Chairman Leonardo Q. Montemayor recognized the push of the Marcos administration to improve the well-being of local farmers.
“The strong political will of our incumbent President and Congress ensured the passage of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act and increased budget for agriculture and fisheries,” Montemayor said.
Republic Act (RA) No. 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act (NAEA) provided over 600,000 Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) with debt condonation.