by Sheila Mae Toreno

Farmers, fisherfolk, and animal raisers of Pres. Roxas, Capiz obtained information on how to avail themselves of the various interventions from the government to further their farm productivity and income during a caravan organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas, Aug. 20.

“This agricultural information caravan spearheaded by the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section is among the series of activities conducted to disseminate the different programs and services of the Department, its attached bureaus and agencies to its stakeholders,” said James Earl Ogatis, regional information officer.

In support to Secretary William Dar’s ‘Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita’ perspective for agriculture, this information caravan seeks to capacitate farmers and fishers become competitive, resilient and income-oriented food producers through massive information campaign.

Farmers and fishers of Capiz town learned how to obtain services of DA and other agencies ranging from the provision of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers to training, support to mechanization, irrigation, insurance, marketing, scholarship grants, and credit facilities.

Meanwhile, Giovanni Baoy, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) Capiz Lending Center manager, explained several legislated credit programs available to the agricultural stakeholders.

These include the Agricultural Credit Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) lending program which is available to individual farmers/fisherfolk, and micro and small enterprises; the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugar Industry Development Act for the sugarcane farmers; and the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund which aims to increase productivity of rice farmers and cooperatives.

On the other hand, Ruth Cely Jamelo of the National Irrigation Administration mentioned that the P416-million worth of Bayuyan Small Reservoir Irrigation Project to benefit some 477 farmers of Pres. Roxas is now underway.

Livestock raisers of the town will also benefit from the soon to be installed Multiplier Farm for the Native Chicken and Native Pig Modules that cost more than P2 million.

Municipal mayor Receliste Escolin commended the support of DA and attached agencies to better the lives and livelihood income of farmers and fisherfolk of Pres. Roxas, a fourth-class town in Capiz. Participants received various farming reference guides (IECs), assorted vegetable seeds, planting materials, and advocacy giveaways printed with the DA Western Visayas’ slogan, “We serve what farmers deserve.”