Cebu News

Better performance for agri sector in Central Visayas noted last year

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture’s plant, plant, plant program has been credited largely for the increase in the production yield in Central Visayas despite the ongoing pandemic.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recorded a 5.4 percent growth in the agriculture performance in the region last year. 

PSA representative Christine Biglang-awa reported during the recent DA regional management council meeting that Central Visayas logged a 5.4 percent gross domestic regional product (GRDP) in 2021, a positive outlook compared to the -9.5 percent in 2020.

GRDP measures the value of goods and services produced in the region.

DA-7 OIC-Regional Executive Director Joel Elumba said that the continued construct of small water impounding (SWIP) and other irrigation projects largely contributed to the increase in production yield.

  Elumba said that the government subsidy to the farmers also played a vital role in the positive performance of the agriculture sector last year. The government provided financial grants to farmer-cooperatives and associations.

 Among the beneficiaries were the rice farmers who were given P5,000 each as financial subsidy to cope with the effect of the pandemic.  Elumba added that farm equipment, fertilizer, and seed subsidy were also distributed to the farmer cooperatives and associations. 

The agriculture sector in the region is optimistic to further increase the GRDP with the expected increase in the budget for the National Irrigation Authority.

A representative from NIA reported during the meeting that they are expecting an increase in their current budget from P1.07B to P1.79B in 2023. With the additional budget, the NIA hopes to construct more SWIP, dams, and other irrigation facilities to irrigate more than 20,000 hectares of rice lands in Central Visayas. 

According to DA, irrigation plays a major role in increasing farm yields.

In a bid to increase the production of coconut farmers, the Philippine Coconut Authority also discussed the advocacy for farmers to adopt the micronutrient fertilization program. 

The coconut industry performance will be boosted in 2023 with the P5-billion fund to be equitably distributed to all DA-attached and partner agencies that take part in uplifting the lives of the coconut farmers in the region. — FPL (FREEMAN)


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