DA earmarks P80 million for agriculture projects in Quezon Category: Agri‐Commodities Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 19:50 Written by Marvyn N. Benaning / Correspondent THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted an initial P80 million for agricultural and fishery projects in five towns of the Polillo group of islands in Quezon province. According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, the assistance is aimed at making Polillo sufficient in rice and other staples, fish, vegetables, and other crops. He led the distribution of farm inputs, equipment and projects to more than 1,000 farmers, fishermen and local government officials during a two‐day visit to the island group that was highlighted by a summit on agriculture and fisheries development at the Polillo town hall on April 15. Alcala said the DA, through its Region 4‐A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces or Calabarzon) office, and other agencies are helping the towns of Polillo, Jomalig, Patnanungan, Burdeos and Panukulan craft a medium‐term agriculture‐ and fisheries‐development plan to make the people on the islands sufficient in rice and major staples. “We need to expand the area planted [with rice in each of the barangays in [the] Polillo group of islands in line with the Aquino administration’s goal to achieve sufficiency in rice by end of 2013,” the DA chief said. He asked Polillo farmers to coordinate with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management to locate springs to be tapped as sources of irrigation and establish small water impounding projects. Alcala also gave P54.7 million in crop and accident insurance coverage from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. to the agricultural workers. Polillo secured P13.5 million worth of insurance; Jomalig, P15 million; Patnanungan, P9.6 million; Burdeos, P8.35 million; and Panukulan, P8.25 million. For its part, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) gave P14 million worth of assistance, primarily in the form of thousands of coconut seedlings and livelihood projects, under its Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran ng Bayan program.