(Inihirit para tugunan ang food, agri global challenges) P12-B DAGDAG PONDO SA DA

William Dar

HUMIHINGI ang Department of Agriculture (DA) ng dagdag na P12 billion budget, bukod pa sa inirekomendang P95-B budget para sa 2022, upang matugunan ang  food at agriculture global challenges sa “new world”.

“We are entering a ‘New World’ — the global scale of the ‘new normal’ as an offshoot of the COVID-19 pandemic — wherein every country in the world is coping with huge challenges. These include the lingering and mutating Covid-19 pandemic, increasing prices of petrol, fertilizers and feeds, climate change, population dynamics, urbanization and aging farmers, and preventing entry of transboundary animal and plant diseases,” wika ni Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

“These global challenges will continue to impact adversely on food production, distribution, and consumption next year and beyond. Hence, in the case of the Philippines and we at the Department of Agriculture, there is a felt need for bigger budgetary support,” dagdag ni Secretary Dar.

Sa isang liham kina Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III at House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, sinabi ng DA chief na nangangailangan ang bansa ng “lifeline” para masustinahan ang productivity nito at matugunan ang mga pangangailangan sa seguridad sa pagkain.

“We believe that there is an urgency for the government to support our farmers in dealing with these global and local challenges,” aniya.

Bahagi ng panukalang P12-B dagdag na budget ng DA ang P8.9-B para sa fertilizer subsidy; P2-B para sa karagdagang budget sa corn program; at P1.1-B sa urban agriculture.

“The increase in prices of inorganic fertilizers due to the declining global supply has been alarming. Big countries and producers have stocked up most of the fertilizer supply to ensure their local requirements for crop production and food security,” ayon pa sa kalihim.

“Other threats such as the rising oil prices, increasing prices of raw materials for feeds, and increasing cost of transport due to backlog in logistics transport service are adding to the lingering effect of the pandemic, which is still affecting the global supply chain,” dagdag pa niya.

“Now, more than ever, the OneDA family will strongly encourage local government units and the private sector to invest in agriculture and fishery infrastructure and livelihood projects, particularly in palay procurement, provision of drying, storage and rice milling facilities, farmers’ trading and consolidation centers, cold storage facilities and logistics like reefer and food delivery vans.”

Idinagdag pa niya na hihikayat din ang ahensiya ng mas maraming na foreign direct investments.