The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has requested the Office of the President (OP) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide financial assistance to Palawan farmers in the form of government subsidies to purchase fertilizers and other farm inputs to help them cope with the pandemic and rising prices.
Committee on Agriculture Chair Board Member Ariston Arzaga, who authored the approved resolution on Tuesday, emphasized that farmers were among the most affected individuals as a result of the pandemic and the global crisis on the rise in farm input prices.
He said that price changes are beyond the control of any individual farmer, and that with limited farm operations, small farmers cannot offset the increase in production costs.
“When farmers plant crops, they are uncertain as to what prices they will obtain for their products and whether they will have enough labor to manage the farm enterprises,” Arzaga said.
He said further that the agricultural and farming business can be expensive because of the cost of farm equipment, supplies, and irrigation systems used to harvest crops.
In addition to agricultural loans for land preparation and inputs, Arzaga stated that the provincial government is providing subsidies on farm inputs to assist farmers.
“Without the intervention from the provincial government through subsidy on farm inputs, farmers will never recover from the adverse effects of global crisis and pandemic. This resolution is being proposed as an intervention to further support our local farmers who are suffering due to the COVID- 19 pandemic since 2020,” he said.
He added that the approved resolution is in pursuance of the declaration of the National Government to help the small rice farmers through Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) and Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RFFA) program as part of the DA’s initiatives, to assist small rice farmers to boost the productivity and income of the farmers.