Be empowered, join cooperatives—Dar to Farmers, fisherfolks
For a more empowered agriculture sector, the Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary William D. Dar encouraged farmers and fisherfolks to join associations and cooperatives during his visit in Caraga.
According to Dar it is about time for them to be empowered and become strong partners in big businesses to improve their income and productivity.
The secretary added that the department is not only focusing on high levels of productivity but is also strongly promoting agribusiness because farmers should have higher incomes to better meet their needs and have a better quality of life. He said that the DA is aiming at making agribusiness as a way of life.
“This is not only about looking at productivity but value-adding, processing, manufacturing, and markets. This is the new way with which we are now developing the countryside,” Dar said.
He also shared that at present, the farm family annual income is at P108,000 and that the DA intends to double this in the next five years.
In addition, he said that the DA in coordination with various stakeholders is doing their best to assist the farmers and fisherfolk in their endeavors to help lift them out of poverty.
The secretary was in the region to turn-over P50 million worth of agri-fishery projects and livelihood assistance to farmers and fishers’ groups of the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and Dinagat Islands.
The interventions awarded include eight hauling trucks for various cooperatives and inputs for Grow Out Production of Bangus in Cage Project, Grow Out Production of Tilapia in Pen Project, Polyculture of Bangus and Mangrove Crab in Pond Project, and seaweed farming. The turn-over ceremony was held at Masao Fish Farm of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Butuan City.