Article by Jonathan L. Mayuga
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) funded various infrastructure projects to farmers in Quezon Province belonging to the MSS Agrarian Reform Community. The package includes farm-to-market roads that will facilitate the transportation of goods to be sold and a pump irrigation project that will irrigate 46 hectares of rice land. Aside from these economic benefits, there are also social benefits for the residents in selected barangays within the province. With the linkage of roads to first class municipalities such as Lopez town, farmers and residents will be able to gain greater access to services related to health, technology and education. With these economic and social benefits presented as opportunities to maximize production of goods and services within Quezon Province, there will be a boost in business activities in the long-run. Starting with these infrastructure projects will propel communities for sustainable development.
This financial support is one of the first steps taken by the Aquino Administration to aid the local farmers, particularly rice farmers, to become competitive in the world market. With the imminent ASEAN integration, tariffs on commodities being traded among the neighboring countries within the region may be removed. For this reason, it is important to raise the quality of rice in the Philippines by means of financial support to farmers in order not to be downgraded when compared with other countries like Vietnam and Thailand. Aside from this, the Aquino Administration wanted to achieve its target of 100% rice self-sufficiency as part of promoting the National Year of Rice this year 2013. In order to reach this target, the country has to maximize the production of rice. But in order to do this, there must be adequate irrigation systems both in the plains and hilly terrains. This is the reason why President Aquino scolded the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) led by Administrator Antonio Nangel for continually failing to meet its yearly target in irrigation. It is no wonder why the country is not maximizing its potential in the agriculture industry.
With the Philippine economy growing at a quick pace, there must also be the proportional growth in the labor-intensive Agriculture sector so that it can generate more employment necessary for inclusive growth.
Link to the news artice: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/news/regions/16302-dar-turns-over-p53-6-million-projects-to-quezon-farmers
Bamba, John Ray