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Gov’t strengthening cooperatives to boost agricultural productivity

MANILA -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said his government is focusing on strengthening cooperatives to boost agricultural production by providing them more fund, new machinery and technology.

During a media interview following his attendance to the 125th anniversary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Quezon City, President Marcos said he already prepared the budget of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and gave the agency more allocation considering its role in enhancing and strengthening cooperatives in the agriculture sector.

“I just did the budget also of the CDA at nilagyan namin ng mas malaking pondo kasi talagang aasahan natin ang Cooperative Development Authority para sila ang magbubuo ng mga kooperatiba na hindi masyadong matibay pa, patitibayin pa – palalakihin at patitibayin,” said Marcos, who serves as the concurrent head of the DA.

The role of cooperatives is critical in enhancing the productivity of the sector, according to the President, noting the first step is mechanization to cut the cost of production.

Aside from the adoption of new technologies and farm machineries for production and post-production, the President said another government thrust is consolidating agricultural cooperatives.

“The cooperatives, generally speaking, ang aming average is 50 to 100 hectares per cooperative. Tapos io-organize pa ‘yan para maging mas malaki pa, maging 1,000, 1,500 hectares – I’m talking about hectares – per overall organization,” Marcos explained.

“Kasi pagtapos makakapagbigay natin, the RCEF (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) program that I’m sure you have heard from Senator Cynthia (Villar) before, the RCEF program na nagbibigay tayo ng makinarya para sa ating mga magsasaka ay ibibigay natin sa mga cooperatives, sila magde-decide sino’ng gagamit muna, saan gagamitin.”

However, there is no need to organize all the cooperatives because there are farmers’ cooperatives already operating such as irrigators association, and other organizations, Marcos said, adding the government will just take advantage of their organization. 

The RCEF Mechanization Program aims to help Filipino farmers become competitive with their Asian peers.

Through machinery grants and its adoption among the Farmers Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs), the government expects to cut production cost and postharvest losses.  (PND)

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Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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