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Over 2,000 farmers in Legazpi City have received government cash assistance.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) provided PHP5,000 monetary assistance to at least 2,200 members of the Legazpi City Farmers’ Association in two separate payouts this week.

These farmers are enrolled with the Registry System for Basic Sector of Agriculture (RSBSA) as part of the DA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) mechanization initiative, according to Shiela Nas, City Agriculture Office (CAO) chief.

RCEF is a component of Republic Act 11203, also known as the Rice Tariffication Law, which aims to lower the cost of rice production by utilizing a precise, effective, and comprehensive set of technology to eliminate post-harvest losses.

“We currently have 525 hectares of agriculture in Legazpi that yield an average of 120 bags per hectare,” Nas added, adding that the farmer-beneficiaries will use their cash support to plant hybrid and inbreed palay seeds to improve harvest and income.

Nas stated that the farmers would receive free planting materials and fertilizers as part of the DA’s subsidization policy to boost the livelihood of persons in the agricultural sector.

She added that the municipal government has set aside PHP2 million for palay farmers to receive fertilizer assistance and that her office has equipment for them to utilize in cultivating their property.

Planting hybrid palay, according to Nas, is ideal for rainy days or agricultural areas with good irrigation.

“Those interested farmers are free to deliver their hybrid rice to the CAO at harvesting time, and it will be sold to municipal government personnel at a competitive price,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Barangay San Francisco Farmers Association (SFFA) member Benito Maravilla expressed his gratitude for the cash support, which he plans to use to pay the wages of people who will help him prepare his farm for planting.

“In the community, members of the agricultural industry, who are largely farmers, are considered impoverished families. “However, with this cash assistance, we will be able to avoid high-interest loans,” he explained.

Maravilla also stated that he is awaiting fertilizer assistance from the DA and CAO, which he believes would help him enhance his harvest, as palay is largely reliant on it.

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