June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

 Panel reviews agri plans for North Luzon

THE House Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle chaired by Ilocos Norte Rep. Angelo Marcos Barba on Tuesday met with officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and attached agencies to review their 2024 and 2025 plans, programs and activities (PPA) for Regions I, II and the Cordillera Administrative Region amid the extreme hot weather in the country. 

In calling for the meeting, Barba acknowledged the potential impact of the increasing heat index on agriculture, which he described as “the backbone of our economy.” 

“This critical shift from global warming to global boiling poses significant threats to our ecosystem, society, and economy. In the Ilocos Region alone, the current heat index spikes up above between 42 to 46 degrees Celsius and has the possibility to rise in the coming weeks or months,” Barba said. 

DA Undersecretary Deogracias Victor “DV” Savellano pointed out the importance of supporting agriculture stakeholders.  

“To fully unleash North Luzon’s full potential in agriculture, we need to sustain our efforts to raise the productivity of the sector, boost the income of food producers and agri-fishery entrepreneurs, and pave way for a vibrant manufacturing and services sector linked to the agriculture value chain,” he said.

The performance of the agriculture industry, proposed budgets and regional strategies were also discussed in the meeting. 

DA Region I Regional Director Annie Bares outlined her office’s strategic approach to reach the region’s target of 2 million metric tons of palay production by yearend. 

“We have the sustained provision of production inputs for rice, quality seeds, and to compliment these quality seeds, we will be providing fertilizers in discount voucher forms and also soil ameliorants as well as biofertilizers,” she reported. 

DA Region II Regional Director Rose Mary Aquino emphasized the need to address the effects of climate change on agriculture, particularly on high-value crops such as rice and corn. She also suggested that the Cagayan River be used for irrigation purposes using tractor-mounted Solar Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) for higher yields 

DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) – Fisheries Planning and Economics Division chief Maria Abegail Albaladejo, CAR Regional Director Jennilyn Dawayan and Philippine Center for Postharvest Center and Mechanization (PHilMech) Director Joel Dator also presented the plans and budget proposals of their respective offices.