By Raymund Antonio
The Office of Vice President Leni Robredo is exploring more ways to support farmers in her home province of Camarines Sur in an effort to boost their livelihood and improve their lives.
Robredo on Saturday led the turnover of P2.6 million worth of checks for the farmers of Maragao, Pili and Libmanan towns, funded through her office’s local projects.
The funds are intended to help provide farm inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and greenhouses for farmer-beneficiaries, who are also part of the OVP’s “Omasenso sa Kabuhayan” program.
During the visit, the OVP said Robredo was accompanied by representatives of the Philippines Shell Foundation, Inc., which was linked by her office to the farmers for the implementation of the Integrated Farming Bio-Systems project.
Robredo went first to the Upland Flower Farm at 10:30 a.m. in the town of Maragao, then she had a farm visit in Pili for the turnover of the check for farmer-beneficiaries.
The Vice President was also scheduled to meet farmers from Libmanan in the afternoon as part of her visit to Camarines Sur.
According to her office, Robredo visited these areas to assess the impact of their assistance to the farmers apart from the distribution of the checks.
Robredo also spoke with the farmers, who are among the poorest in the country, to know about their condition.
The Omasenso sa Kabuhayan, which is part of Robredo’s flagship Angat Buhay program, provides training to farmers from Metro Naga and nearby towns in Camarines Sur, and link them to commercial establishments.
Robredo had earlier said the farmers have started to reap the fruits of the program after a big mall in Bicol agreed to get supply of vegetables from them.
“I met with the owner of a big mall in our place – he has 80 branches all over Bicol – and we entered into an agreement, wherein our farmers will supply to them,” she said in Filipino.
“They were overwhelmed because tons of vegetables were ordered from them. They were only small farmers,” Robredo added.
Apart from profit, the farmers can also increase their harvest and become agri-entrepreneurs through the program.