AID TO FARMERS. Personnel from the Department of Agriculture-12 and the Philippine Coconut Authority-12 distribute cash and food assistance to 166 farmer-beneficiaries at the Kidapawan City hall grounds on Wednesday (April 14, 2021). Aside from PHP3,000 cash each, the beneficiaries (inset) also each received one-half sack of rice and five kilos of dressed chicken during the activity. (Photos courtesy of Kidapawan CIO)

KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato - A total of 166 coconut and corn farmers here and from the nearby town of Kabacan were recipients of cash and food assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Region 12 (Soccsksargen) and the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) -12, officials said Thursday.

Abas Abdullah, DA-12 regional corn coordinator, said the assistance forms part of the agencies’ intervention to the farming sector severely affected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Abdullah said each recipient received PHP3,000 cash and food items consisting of a 25-kilo bag of rice and five kilos of dressed chicken during the turnover ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at the city hall compound.

Kathleen Lana, PCA-12 coconut development officer, said a large number of coconut farmers have incurred heavy losses because of the pandemic so the PCA has come up with a program to help them.

“We know how much our small coconut farmer also took the toll from this pandemic,” she said.

Based on data, recipients comprised 136 coconut farmers and four corn farmers from Kidapawan, and another 20 coconut farmers, and six corn farmers from Kabacan town.

Kidapawan Mayor Joseph A. Evangelista said the city government remains committed to the programs of the DA and PCA in empowering the agriculture sector.

“The Kidapawan government, for its part, also continues to create programs aimed at helping local farmers strengthen food sufficiency in this time of pandemic,” he said. (PNA)