THE government stands to pay out fuel and fertilizer subsidies and other benefits to more than 5.4 million farmers and fisherfolk in the national registry, the Department of Agriculture said.

“Once registered, they are given priority in availing of agriculture and fishery assistance in the form of cash or farm inputs like seeds and fertilizer, fuel subsidy vouchers, and crop insurance,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said in a statement.

The Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) has a target of registering up to 12 million farmers, farm workers, and fisherfolk to facilitate the distribution of aid, with the latest programs meant to address the rising cost of fuel and fertilizer.

Data from the National Coconut Farmers Registry System and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’s fisherfolk registry will also be integrated into the program.

The RSBSA has three main components — farmer and fisherfolk profiling, farm parcel geo-referencing, and an interventions monitoring system.

Basic information collected in profiling includes personal data, farm ownership status, membership associations, or participation in any enterprises.

The geo-referencing component includes physical dimensions and GPS coordinates of the farm to help determine the farmer’s entitlement in programs where the benefits are based on landholdings.

The interventions monitoring system tracks the benefits received by farmers and fisherfolk.

The RSBSA was set up to deploy benefits authorized by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund’s Rice Farmers Financial Assistance program. Over 1 million rice farmers received P5,000 each. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson