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DBM allots P197.84 billion for agri sector in 2024 national budget

(Photo Courtesy: DBM)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) increased the proposed budget provisions for the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its national programs that are primarily anchored on the goal of attaining food security. 

For the fiscal year 2024, the DA will receive a total budget allocation of P197.84 billion which is 6 percent higher than the 2023 appropriations amounting to P186.54 billion. 

In his 2024 Budget Message, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. highlighted the significant gains of the food production sector, particularly the agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) industries which posted a 2.2 percent growth that accounted for 9.1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2023. 

In this regard, DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman recognized the need to sustain the growth trajectory of the sector by making important provisions in the 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) that will ensure its productivity. 

“In our quest for food security and proper nutrition for Filipino families, the FY 2024 NEP will continue to support programs that boost the local production of major agricultural commodities including rice, corn, and other high-value crops,” said Pangandaman.

Of the total budget allocation, the National Rice Program will primarily receive P30.9 billion aimed at increasing the country’s rice production while P10 billion has been dedicated to the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to further extend the aid given to farmers by means of rice seed development and rice credit assistance programs as well as the acquisition of agricultural equipment. 

Meanwhile, budget provisions were also made for other agricultural industries including the National Corn Program with P5.3 billion, the National Livestock Program with P4.3 billion, and the National High-Value Crops Development Program with P1.9 billion. 

The Sugar Regulatory Administration, on the other hand, will receive P1 billion for the implementation of the Sugarcane Industry Development Program which centers on the skills improvement of local sugar producers.

In a bid to advance the competitiveness of agri-fishery practices and products as well as the income of farmers and fisherfolk, P6.9 billion was allocated to the National Fisheries Program and P211 million to the Boosting Aquaculture Production Program to address the supply deficit in local fish production. 

Following the thrust of the national government to ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, the DBM has funded the National Soil Health Program with P916 million alongside the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) National Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources (AANR) Sector Research and Development Program with P1.5 billion. 

Other research and development initiatives of DA’s priority programs including the Fisheries Biotechnology R4D under the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, specifically the Hatchery Production (HatchPro) Program, has been budgeted with P70 million to support the development of climate-smart breeding techniques and farming systems.

The DA’s Farm-to-Market Program will likewise be provided with P17.3 billion for the construction of 1,144.58 kilometers of roadways to allow the seamless transport of goods. Accordingly, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will receive a budget allocation worth P31.2 billion for the establishment of additional 31,548 hectares of irrigated farmland towards addressing issues related to water scarcity and climate variability.

Further, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) will be given a dedicated fund of P4.9 billion intended for the development of the fisheries sector, especially the construction and rehabilitation of fish ports across the country. 

Remaining budget allocations for the food production sector include the P9 billion for the National Food Authority’s (NFA) Buffer Stocking Program, P4.5 billion for the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation’s income protection program, P2.8 billion for the roll out of Agro-Industry Modernization Credit and Financing Program (AMCFP) under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, and P364 million for the Water Supply and Sanitation Program of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA). (DBM/PIA-NCR) 

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Janna Marie Pineda

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