By Marlon Purificacion | People's Journal
THE heavy task of bringing the agricultural sector back on track after it was severely ravaged by recent natural disasters, the latest of which was the Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” has reiterated the need for a far-reaching and encompassing program for agricultural productivity and stability.
This developed as Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. batted to include massive distribution of hybrid seeds to farmers as part of rehabilitating agriculture in areas hit by the super typhoon.
He sought for farmers’ easy and quick access to hybrid seeds for planting following the Senate approval of the P8-billion outlay for repair and rehabilitation of irrigation systems nationwide, especially in disaster-hit areas to jump-start farming, for sustainable high farm productivity. The appropriation is an item in the P2.265-trillion national budget for 2014.
At the same time, Marcos renewed his call for the enactment of his Senate Bill No. 112, titled “The National Seeds Production Act of 2013,” which sought for the establishment of a national program for production of quality hybrid seeds to ensure high agricultural output in the country.
Under the bill, the national government shall undertake a comprehensive program on the production of hybrid and other quality seeds and encourage farmers to intensify their efforts in increasing farm productivity.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Plants and Industries, will execute the program and supervise, coordinate, and monitor the implementation at the national and local level.
“The establishment of a seeds production program will greatly enhance farm productivity by providing the farmers with quality, hybrid and affordable seeds, as well as the needed technical and other support services,” Marcos said.
He proposed an initial P6-billion budget for the measure, which will be incorporated in the annual budget of the DA, and thereafter the amount necessary to carry out its implementation will be incorporated in the General Appropriations Act.