DA – Cordillera Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey, in a Kapihan media forum here, said promoting urban agriculture, revitalized Gulayan sa Barangay and backyard gardening are among the strategies of the DA in ensuring food security especially during this time of COVID pandemic.
DA – CAR has a total allocated funds of P13.28 million for the provision of free vegetable seedlings. So far, they have already reached out to 36,434 households or 95.87 percent of the 38,000 target household beneficiaries regionwide.
Odsey also called for continuing partnership with all stakeholders in the agriculture sector in embracing the new normal that includes ensuring agricultural service continuity amidst the community quarantine.
DA – CAR Regional Technical Director for Operations Danilo Daguio, in the same forum, presented the agriculture department’s ALPAS (Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat) Kontra COVID Program.
Daguio shared that promotion of urban/backyard farming and Gulayan sa Barangay is part of ensuring continuing food production and food availability, one of the four key components of the food security strategies of ALPAS Kontra COVID.
Under the same component is the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) that aims to increase the region’s rice sufficiency level by distributing high quality seeds and fertilizers to around 140,000 rice farmers tilling 68,047 hectares of rice farms by the end of June. The project has total funding allocation of P261,926,000, he said.
Other key components of ALPAS Kontra COVID are ensuring food accessibility, food affordability and price stability.
Daguio reported that for ensuring accessibility, DA has the Kadiwa Express wherein farmers are assisted in selling their products by directly connecting them to buyers such as local government units, government entities and non – government organizations as well as through a Kadiwa retail store at the DA – CAR Regional Office.
For affordability and price stability, Daguio said regular monitoring activities through the Regional Bantay Presyo Monitoring Team, in coordination with the Local Price Monitoring Councils are continuously being implemented. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar