Agri & fishery sector in 4 cities report economic increase with DA interventions

Tacloban City - The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 8 (DA-RFO 8) revealed that 67% of farmer-beneficiaries from the cities of Calbayog, Catbalogan, Maasin and Baybay who were able to avail from its interventions provided a positive remark on the appropriateness of the interventions it offered since 2010 in a survey during a technical consultation. 

Conducted by the Office of Research and Regulations headed by Assistant Regional Director Elvira Torres, the survey also resulted with 48% of the farmer-participants reported increase of income as a result of agricultural interventions primarily in a form of seed inputs from DA-RFO8. 

“We need agriculture to sustain life. It feeds us and it is our gateway to food security,” DA-RFO 8’s Regional Executive Director, Leo P. Cañeda said in a statement. The regional agricultural chief also announced the milestones of the agriculture and fishery sector in Eastern Visayas. 

Cañeda emphasized also the preparation for the new administration prioritizing the Agri-fishery Modernization Plan. Sharing the agri-fishery situation in Eastern Visayas, Cañeda cited that a total of 723,048 hectares agricultural area being cultivated by 390,752 registered farmers based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

“Agriculture is a tool for poverty reduction. We need it to reverse the tide of poverty,” Cañeda said. 

He also mentioned that the sector is seen to contribute to easing up the level of malnutrition as cited in the Millennium Development Goals, improving income and contributing to climate proofing and biodiversity. 

Cañeda likewise discussed the contribution of Region 8 to the national production for the following commodities: rice (5.54%); corn (3.45%); vegetable (0.48%); abaca (25.01%); coconut (10.16%); sugarcane (1.45%); livestock (4.33%); poultry (2.21%); and fisheries (2.91%). He too emphasized that there are a lot of things that should be done in order to increase the production of the above-mentioned commodities. 

“The Supertyphoon Yolanda and all other typhoons that hit the region should not always be used as scapegoat in justifying the productivity level of the agriculture sector in region. We need to overcome that point in history when we were emasculated because of these calamities,” he underscored. (RUBY Q. CALESTERIO & FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO)
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