FARM MECHANIZATION. Ilocos Norte farmers receive farm equipment from the government in this undated photo. To boost food security, the Ilocos Norte government will soon have a new division to assist farmers and fishers in fully embracing agriculture modernization and mechanization. (File photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The Ilocos Norte government is preparing to create a new division that will assist farmers and fishers in fully embracing agriculture modernization and mechanization for a food-secure Philippines.

This after Draft Provincial Ordinance 2022-08-008, entitled “An ordinance creating the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) Division of Ilocos Norte,” was approved by the provincial council on third reading on Monday.

"The new division shall be appropriated with a regular budget for at least eight plantilla positions. This will be made available to qualified agricultural and biosystems engineers," Provincial Human Resource and Management Officer Fe Siazon said on Tuesday.

Meant to prepare the province for the full devolution of agricultural and fisheries functions by 2025, the new division will serve as the planning, coordinating, regulating and implementing bodies at the provincial, city, and municipal levels on agricultural and fisheries engineering, mechanization and infrastructure programs and projects.

The move aims to also help the province generate local revenues and resource mobilization strategy from regulatory fees and provide scholarships with the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Earlier this year, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) started the pilot implementation of its project to strengthen ABE in selected local government units. (PNA)