Other local government units (LGUs) should take inspiration from Bohol as far as crafting programs for the local agriculture and fishery sectors ar concerned, Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar said.
“This is exactly what we want LGUs should do, that is, focus on priority commodities and put the needed budget,” Dar said following his recent two-day visit in Bohol.
“Kung lahat sana ng probinsiya ay may priority setting na ganito, mas mabilis ang pag-unlad ng sektor ng agrikultura sa bawat lalawigan (If all provinces have a priority setting like this, then the improvement of our agriculture sector would be much faster),” the secretary added.
It was during Dar’s visit that Bohol Governor Arthur Yap discussed with him the initiative to develop the island-province’s agriculture and fishery sector using the “OneDA” reform agenda as the framework.
Dar lauded the province’s proposed projects, which, he said, remains one of the best they have seen so far.
For 2021, Bohol is funding several major agriculture and fishery projects totalling P588.8 million. This includes the Advance Rice Technology (ART) program, which targets to have an average yield per hectare of 160 cavans or eight metric tons (MT) for hybrid and 120 cavans or six MT for inbred.
Other local initiatives cover corn, root crops (ube kinampay), coconut, bangus, tilapia, seaweeds, dairy, native chicken, swine, and farm-to-market roads (FMRs).
For farm and fishery projects, Yap said they are seeking additional funding support of up to P976 million from the DA. For FMRs, the sought amount is P1.4 billion.
Dar was so impressed with the Bohol agricultural framework that he directed the DA regional executive directors to make Bohol as a model for the agency’s Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems (PAFES), one of the major strategies under the OneDA reform agenda.
He says Bohol is among the several provinces in the country that are taking the initiative by investing much of their budget in agriculture. These include Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Quirino, Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Cebu, and Marinduque, among others.