Home The Nation DA hastening transition to province-led support system for farmers, fisherfolk 

DA hastening transition to province-led support system for farmers, fisherfolk 

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) aims to improve the delivery of extension services and provision of technical and marketing assistance to farmers and fisherfolk in the last year of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term.    

In a statement on Monday, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the department, in the remaining time of Mr. Duterte’s administration, will transition to the province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems (PAFES).   

The shift will be undertaken in partnership with local government units (LGUs), state universities and colleges, the private sector, and farmers’ organizations.  

Mr. Dar said efforts to strengthen the delivery of extension services to farmers is also in anticipation of the Mandanas-Garcia ruling set to take effect in Jan. 2022, which will give LGUs a bigger share from national taxes.    

“PAFES would serve as the modality of implementing banner programs in the provinces. Under the system, we at the national government will do the steering, while the LGUs will do the rowing,” Mr. Dar said.    

According to the DA, agricultural extension and advisory services have an important role in strengthening farm productivity and income, increasing food security, improving rural livelihood, and promoting agriculture.    

Mr. Dar said PAFES will help improve the ability of provincial LGUs in accomplishing agri-fishery extension services and combining multiple programs of the DA with the respective provinces serving as the operations hub.    

“We have to understand that agriculture is local. Agriculture is provincial. Therefore, the LGUs are in a much better position in identifying and supplying these services that would bring more progress to the countryside, and make the country food-secure and resilient,” he said.    

Meanwhile, Mr. Dar said the potential of the country’s agriculture and fishery sector can be further tapped with the provision of the appropriate budgetary support and private sector investments.    

“For 2022, we are proposing a budget of P250 billion, which is three times more than this year. We pray that the country’s agriculture sector could be afforded that long-delayed financial support so the Philippines could keep pace at least with our counterparts in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region,” Mr. Dar said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave