CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan–More than 300 Bulakenyo farmers and fisherfolks from the 21 municipalities and three cities of this province received livelihood assistance and machinery from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) during the “Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19” program held Tuesday at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in this city.
Secretary William Dar said the DA is now concentrating on areas wherein farm machinery were already distributed by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) to see the effect of the reform and persuaded the farmers to join or form farmer cooperatives to receive aid from the government that will be distributed through that mechanism.
He said they will continue the reforms that they had already started.
“To all farmers’ cooperatives and associations, we would like you to be transformed not only to be productive but also to be involved in the marketing of the palay or even to dry and mill,” he said.
For the year 2020 alone, the DA had already awarded the Province of Bulacan with a total of P960.5 million worth of projects and programs through Gov. Daniel R. Fernando who said that the province’s economy is equally important as its health system.
Six units of four-wheel-drive tractor, six units of combine harvester, 27 units of shallow tube well, two units of recirculating dryer, two units of mobile flash dryer, and four units of warehouse worth P36,404,726.32 were distributed to Bulakenyo farmers under the DA’s Rice Mechanization Program: Provision of Agricultural Production, Postharvest and Processing Machinery, and Equipment.
Also, five units of shallow tube well and one unit of corn husker sheller worth P528,738.00 under the DA’s Corn Mechanization Program: Provision of Agricultural Production, Postharvest and Processing Machinery and Equipment were given to the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, BFAR, through the Distribution of Livelihood Assistance to Fisherfolks and Farm Machineries to Farmers in support to “ALPAS (Ahon Lahat, Pagkain Sapat) Kontra COVID-19” gave 51 million pieces of milkfish fry, 700,000 pieces of sex reversal tilapia fingerlings, 300,000 pieces mixed-sex tilapia fingerlings, and 300,000 pieces saline tilapia fingerlings, one unit of aquaponics, one unit of floating solar venturi aeration system as innovation to small scale pond culture, and one unit of tilapia hatchery artificial incubation system, one unit of tilapia culture with nursery operation, two units of hatchery-reared milkfish nursery in earthen pond and one unit of 75 days P. Vannamei culture in BW pond, and 18 fish vending equipment, one elevated solar dryer, two fish smoke house, 80 sets of portable solar lamp, 10 12.0HP marine engine, 18 7.5HP marine engine, 67 multifilament net, 80 gillnets and 25 cast net to the Province of Bulacan.
Dar also awarded the Provincial Government of Bulacan, represented by Gov. Fernandez and Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carrillo, its sixth Rice Achievers Award and a ceremonial cheque worth P4 million.