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The DA-CAR recommends the P75-B agro plan to the BBM administration.

BAGUIO CITY, PHILIPPINES — As the Duterte government winds down, the Department of Agriculture will leave a PHP75 billion, 10-year agriculture development plan for the next administration to endorse.

The Cordillera Administrative Region’s (CAR) National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Industrialization Plan (NAFMIP 2021-2030) includes infrastructure, capacity building, research and development, and information dissemination programs.

In addition to 1,120 kilometers of farm-to-market roads, 1,266 production facilities, 610 post-harvest facilities, 78,988 market-related activities and infrastructure, and 308 other infrastructures, the infrastructure support program requires the completion of at least 1,350 irrigation system projects in ten years.

During the term, at least 652 machines and equipment for the agro mechanization program must be completed.

A total of 70,000 information education resources, as well as at least 12 research and development activities, must be created.

Aside from financial and cash aid and credit, it also covers activities and programs for input supply and distribution; production support-related activities; policy-related and regulatory-related activities.

“The 10-year plan will provide a foundation for the future administration in terms of the Cordillera region,” said Dr. Cameron Odsey, regional director of the DA-CAR, in a phone interview on Wednesday.

With various food items produced in the region, he said the region’s agriculture business is an important element of the country’s food sustainability aim.

According to him, the Cordillera has a multibillion-peso agricultural business, with about two million kg of variety highland vegetables traded daily and shipped to other regions of the country.

If the new administration sticks to the plan, he says, agriculture in the Cordillera would be enhanced even more, with a budget of PHP7 billion flowing to the region’s agriculture sector.

According to Odsey, the area will get a PHP1.7 billion budget from the department’s general appropriations in 2021, and PHP2.45 billion in 2022, a huge increase.

According to him, the Cordillera received a low budget allocation because the qualifications and prerequisites for large funding are commodity-based, and the region only generates a small proportion of the country’s priority commodities.

The director, on the other hand, claims that while the region only gets a small slice of the pie from general appropriations, it makes up for it with locally and internationally sponsored programs.

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), the “Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran para sa Kababayang Katutubo” or 4K, the Registry System for Basic Agriculture (RSBA), and the foreign-funded Philippine Rural Development Projects are only a few examples (PRDP).

These projects address pressing issues such as enhancing productivity and food security, lowering fertilizer prices, managing food inflation, controlling pests and illnesses, improving logistics and food mobilization, and improving goods and service delivery.

“We’re on a trajectory where we’ll be able to expand output if all of the projects in the plan are done,” Odsey added.

The 10-year plan also broke down the budget requirement, with neutral-based commodities receiving 71.88 percent of the cost-share from the PHP75.5 billion, corn, livestock, and poultry receiving 20.76 percent, geographically specialized commodities receiving 3.95 percent, rice-based commodities receiving 2.89 percent, and fisheries-based commodities receiving 0.5 percent.

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