BBM orders review of Agri programs

BBM orders review of Agri programs

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First briefing President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets with Agriculture officials on Monday, July 18, 2022. Photo from PBBM’s Twitter account

Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday ordered a sweeping review of all projects and programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to pinpoint how the agency can effectively help local food producers and bring down the prices of commodities.

The President, who has temporarily assumed stewardship of the DA, met with agency officials for about two hours Monday.

The discussion centered on how the government can further help farmers ramp up their production, particularly of rice, amid the surge in the price of fertilizer.

He wants a strategy for food producers to quickly bring their goods to trading posts at a time when the price of fuel continues to climb.

“Prayoridad sa ating plano para sa agrikultura ay ang pagpapatibay ng programang ‘farm-to-market road’ at pagsusulong ng mga proyektong makakatulong sa ating mga kababayan sa sektor ng agrikultura (The main priority in our plan for agriculture is to strengthen the ‘farm-to-market road’ program and also pursue other programs which will help the agriculture sector),” the President said in a Twitter post following his meeting at the DA.

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Agriculture Undersecretary for Consumer and Political Affairs Kristine Evangelista said ensuring food security does not only mean a sufficient rice supply, but of other commodities as well, such as pork and poultry, eggs, and vegetables.

The President, Evangelista said, has ordered the department to study how best to raise farm production while tempering the cost of production.

“It’s very important in all the plans we make is taking into consideration the sources of production. Doon sa production areas tayo magbubuhos ng lahat ng maitutulong ng kagawaran para ma-increase ang production (We will focus on what we can do to boost production),” Evangelista said in a separate interview.

The aim is to stabilize the supply of commodities “because that would also lead to good prices pagdating po sa ating (when it comes to our) consumers,” she said.

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