DA requests P31-B budget to implement ALPAS COVID-19
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has requested for a P31 billion supplemental fund to roll out immediate interventions for food production and availability, food accessibility and affordability, and food price stabilization under a newly designed project called Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra sa COVID-19 or ALPAS COVID-19.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar explained that the supplemental budget proposal for ALPAS COVID-19 is in line with the mandate of the DA to “ensure a food-secure Philippines much more in time of the health emergency period”.
“With this pandemic, there is tightening of global food supply and we know that when there is not enough food, disorder is probable. While improving our food adequacy level, we should aim for food security. If no action is done, the threat of hunger is as real as the threat of the virus,” Dar said.
According to the Secretary, food production areas must be expanded to increase level of productivity.
From the requested additional budget, P7 billion will be used to increase the procurement fund of the National Food Authority (NFA) to buy palay from local farmers.
Another P10 billion will be used for the upscaling of KADIWA ni Ani at Kita, including production monitoring, provincial services on wheels, transportation and trucking services of produce from source to the Metropolis, and the provision for KADIWA on wheels.
The remaining funds will be used for rice resiliency project, integrated livestock and corn resiliency project, poultry project, urban agriculture project, among others.
Financial assistance will also be granted to farmers affected by the drop in farmgate prices under the Expanded Sure Aid Recovery Project, while an increase in insurance coverage will be accorded to those growing crops and raising livestock and fisheries under the Expanded Agriculture Assistance Project.
Both Projects will get P3 billion from the proposed supplemental budget.