September 8, 2011
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today asks the Department of Agriculture if it would be possible to allot a portion of the department’s budget for irrigation to help out the ailing coconut industry as well as other high-value crops.
“We are looking at the feasibility of the DA’s capacity to spend the total amount budgeted for irrigation in 2012,” Pangilinan says during today’s budget deliberation for the Department of Agriculture. “It may be prudent for the DA to allot, say P5B, to help the coconut industry—which according to the Philippine Coconut Authority is in danger as coconut trees in the country are dying.”
“We are pleased that the DA’s banner programs for 2012 are aimed at upping the income of our farmers, which as it stands today at P17, 000 annually is totally unacceptable. In this light, we urge the DA to be systematic in implementing irrigation repairs for us to determine realistically if the P27B is going to be exhausted in a year’s time. Otherwise, it may be best to divert it to other high-value crops and other programs that will increase the income of our farmers.”
Image Source: Agriculture.ph