MALAYBALAY CITY (PIA)--Each of the 965 rice farmers in Maramag, Bukidnon, received P5,000 in cash aid from the Department of Agriculture (DA)-10.
DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene Collado said that the Department of Agriculture granted P4.825 million in cash aid to eligible rice farmers in Bukidnon through the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program.
"The Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) is a registry of farmers, fisherfolk, and farm laborers that serves as a targeting mechanism for the identification of beneficiaries for different agriculture-related programs and services of the government," he said.
Collado explained that only those RSBSA-registered rice farmers who till no more than 2 hectares of rice fields are qualified to receive the assistance.
He also emphasized that the RFFA is part of the DA's continuing effort and strategy to increase rice production volume in the country amid the observed increase in prices of farm inputs and challenging weather conditions. It is being funded through the Rice Tariffication Law.
Under said legislation, excess tariffs collected on imported rice will be appropriated as cash subsidies to rice farmers for a span of six years, from 2019 until 2024.
According to Luis Estenzo, a 74-year-old rice farmer, the RFFA payout is timely for the wet cropping season.
"Ako ni ipalit og abono ang akong nadawat nga hinabang kay padulong na ko magsabwag. Nagpasalamat ko sa DA kay dako kaayo ni nga tabang sa mga mag-uuma sama nako," Estenzo said.
(I will use this to buy fertilizer because I will start planting soon. I thanked the DA for giving this cash aid to a farmer like me)
To date, DA-10 has released a total of P164.795 million in cash aid to 32,959 rice farmers across northern Mindanao. (DA-10/PIA-10/Bukidnon)