LEGAZPI CITY – More than 1,200 local farmers from different towns in Albay province received government assistance on Tuesday during the ongoing Agri Fiesta 2023 at the Albay Farmer’s Bounty Village in Camalig town.
In an interview, Lorena Quising, Albay provincial information officer, said each farmer got PHP5,000 in cash as part of the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) of the Department of Agriculture-Bicol (DA-5).
"Aside from the 1,235 local farmers who received cash assistance, farm implements and fingerlings were also distributed to different local government units (LGUs), while farmer cooperatives also got agri inputs,” she said.
Quising said the three-day Agri Fiesta 2023 which started Monday features goods from chosen exhibitors from the different municipalities and cities in the province, selling them at lower than market prices.
She said it showcases the local industries’ top products ranging from fruits and vegetables, local delicacies, handicrafts and home decor, plants and abaca-made merchandise. A total of 36 exhibitors displayed their very own versions of "the best that Albay has to offer".
Albay Governor Edcel Greco Lagman said his administration prioritizes agriculture as he recognizes the support needed by the local farmers to maintain the province's food security, especially in anticipating the impending crises that the El Niño phenomenon will bring to Albay’s agriculture and fishery sectors.
“On the heels of the pandemic, grabe po su inagihan kan satuyang sektor sa agrikultura (agriculture sector suffered a lot). The sector that literally fed our province. . . Before we talk about our plans, go into manufacturing, we have to remember that we are an agriculturally driven economy. Wala pong makakapagsabi na hindi iyan totoo (Nobody can claim that it is not true),” Lagman said.
The provincial government of Albay, through the Albay Provincial Agriculture Office, has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Philippine Rice Research Institute, and the National Food Authority to make the Agri Fiesta a success.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Catanduanes provided relief assistance to 148 fisherfolk families in San Andres town affected by the strong winds and rough seas conditions brought about by Typhoon Betty.
In a social media post, it said the families were dependent on fishing as their primary source of income.
"This relief aid is aimed to alleviate the challenges endured by the fisherfolks during the days when they were unable to venture out into the seas due to the typhoon's impact," the post read. (PNA)