Friday, October 24, 2008

[kgma] DA to propagate organic fertilizers

Roxas City -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) will vigorously
promote the use of organic fertilizers among palay farmers with an eye
on providing support for organic fertilizer manufacturing in 2009 to
farmers tilling 400,000 hectares or a tenth of all farmlands devoted
to palay growing nationwide.

This is among the changes that DA will introduce as it streamlines the
implementation of its palay production program under its banner
Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) that will, beginning next year, focus
funding on hard or "big-ticket" projects covering irrigation
maintenance, post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads (FMRs) and
rural extension work.

"While the DA will continue providing seed support to farmers, it will
do away with its fertilizer subsidy program involving the grant of
discount coupons for the purchase of petrochemical fertilizers so the
Department can focus instead on promoting the use of organic
fertilizers among palay growers," said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

Available discount coupons in the province can be used by
farmer-recipients until the end of this year.

Yap said the streamlining of intervention programs in support of
FIELDS, which stands for Fertilizer, Irrigation and other rural
infrastructure, Education and extension work, Loans, Dryers and other
post-harvest facilities, and Seeds, is part of the sweeping reforms
that he has put in place at the DA for a more effective implementation
and monitoring of its farm productivity programs plus a more prudent
disbursement of funds to program beneficiaries.

Among these reforms effected by Yap are the creation of national and
regional monitoring teams to conduct "periodic field validation and
rapid appraisal" of the DA's intervention measures and the adoption of
more stringent guidelines on the release of funds to non-government
organizations (NGOs) and people's organizations (POs).

The DA is also pursuing from hereon the closer coordination by the
regional field units (RFUs) with provincial, city and municipal
agriculture officers and farm technicians that are helping the DA
carry out its GMA programs in the field, he said.

Yap said this envisioned closer coordination between the DA and
municipal agriculture officers (MAOs) and other LGU-employed
agriculture officers and technician was an offshoot of its recent
accord with the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) on the
detail by governors of some or all of their agricultural workers to
the RFUs for the duration of the DA's two-year rice sufficiency program.

Local government units in Capiz led by the provincial government has
been supporting DA's FIELDS program by initiating the distribution or
serving as conduits of certified palay seeds and other farm inputs for
farmers.

The use of certified seeds is expected to further boost the palay
output of the province, which has been a traditional surplus producer
of the staple crop. (PIA/DA)

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