CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro, Jan. 24 (PIA) - Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar launched the Rice Farmers' Financial Assistance (RFFA) program in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro bringing much needed aid to farmers who bore the brunt of last year's rice importation.
Under the RFFA program, P5,000 financial aid is given to a farmer tilling half a hectare to 2 hectares riceland. The cash assistance aims to recompense losses of farmers and as immediate relief due to the reduction of their farm income brought about by the rice importation.
The Dept. of Agriculture has allotted P53 million to support 10,619 qualified farmers in 13 municipalities and city in Oriental Mindoro.
"Oriental Mindoro is among the country's top rice-producing provinces; is the recipient of second tranche of RFFA. The first wave was rolled out to farmers in Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija on December 23 last year," Sec. Dar said.
DA turned over the P53M budget to Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and through M Lhuilier, a non-bank financial intermediary service, the cash aid will be disbursed to each farmer beneficiary.
"This year, DA is set to grant your province another P100M for crop production and P6M for animal production and for the first semester of the year, you will also receive the P115M for Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)," Sec. Dar said.
LGU officials and farmers from the municipalities of Naujan, Pinamalayan, Socorro, Victoria and the City of Calapan were invited in the launching of RFFA. Farmer- beneficiaries in other municipalities will receive their notice of grants this week through the DA Regional Office in Calapan City. (LC/PIAMimaropa/Calapan)