Albay, DA reaffirm ties to boost agri-fishery sector

LEGAZPI CITY, 11/22/16 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol regional office and provincial government of Albay have reaffirmed their strong partnership in improving the lives of farmers and fishers as well as the aqua marine industry in the province.

In the recently held management meeting, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara and DA-Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) South Luzon Director Shandy M. Hubilla shared their common vision in   upgrading the agri-fishery sector in the province.

Bichara shared his vision to invest in the province’s agri-fishery sector and upgrade the lives of Albayano farmers while making Albay known for emerging commodities.

Hubilla backed the governor noting that the PRDP is geared towards the same direction as the project mainly focuses on augmenting farmers’ income and developing an inclusive, climate-smart, and value chain-oriented agriculture and fishery sector in targeted project areas.

Hubilla encouraged Bichara to support the on-going and future sub-projects of the province under PRDP by providing technical guidance on prevailing issues and concerns such as lack of manpower, office, and other resources necessary to deliver an effective and efficient work performance.

In response, Bichara directed his current Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PMMU) headed by Engr. Macario M. Pavia to fast track the procurement process and follow the PRDP management’s timetable for each sub-project.

He also ordered the hiring of 23 technical staff to work on proposals for the targeted P1 billion sub-projects under PRDP in 2017.

Hubilla said Albay has been one of the strong provincial partners of PRDP since 2014.

Under the Project’s local and national level planning or I-PLAN component, four commodities in the province namely coco geonets, sweet potato, pili, and abaca already have approved value chain analysis (VCA) reports. Verification of VCA reports for seaweeds, organic rice, dairy cattle and laing is still on-going.

Under PRDP’s I-BUILD component, Hubilla cited one infrastructure development sub-project for the province - the P205.23-million worth Rehabilitation/Improvement of Pistola-Tablon FMR w/ 3 Units Bridges in Oas, Albay.

The province has also proposed two infrastructure sub-projects: the P2.75 million-worth Construction of Multi-purpose Drying Pavement and the Construction of 15 units Palay Shed amounting to P20.40 million.

Furthermore, Albay served as the pilot province for the PRDP’s enterprise development (I-REAP) component through the P7.68-million-worth Albay Coco Geonets Manufacturing Enterprise managed by the Tunay Tapat Lahing Pilipino Cooperative (TTLPC) in Libon, Albay.

The province was likewise granted a microenterprise project worth P1.28 million dubbed “Enhancing Farm Capacity and Adoption of Nutrition Technology for Goat Production.”

Albay’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. About 39,433 farmers or 50 percent of the farmers in the province are engaged in coconut production while there are 4,785 sweet potato farmers in the province with a total area of 1,674.90 hectares.

DA-PRDP is a six-year project being implemented by the DA that aims to raise farmers’ income and establish an inclusive, market-oriented and climate-resilient agri-fishery sector in targeted project areas in the countryside. The Project partners with local government units in providing facilities, infrastructure, and technology to rural folks nationwide.

The major components for the implementation of the PRDP are infrastructure development (I-Build), enterprise development (I-Reap), local planning (I-Plan) and project support (I-Support).(MAL/SAA/DA5-PIA5/Albay)


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