Dalaguete farmers recovering from Covid-19 pandemic

·2 min read

FARMERS in the town of Dalaguete, southern Cebu who have lost profit due to the Covid-19 pandemic are now on their way to recovery, said the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA 7).

DA 7 Officer-in-Charge Joel Elumba told SunStar Cebu that Dalaguete’s vegetable production has now stabilized as Covid-19 restrictions have eased.

In 2020, about 60 percent of vegetable deliveries from the town were affected due to strict border restrictions between Cebu City and the Province brought by the spike of Covid-19 cases in Cebu.

With the then strict quarantine checkpoints, tons of vegetables were stranded in Dalaguete daily, forcing farmers to sell their products like cabbage for as low as P5 per kilo, down from P65/kilo due to overproduction.

Elumba said the prices of vegetables in the town have now gone back to normal as most of Cebu Province remains at Alert Level 2.

With the much more relaxed restrictions, farmers are now able to supply vegetables more freely in Cebu City’s major markets.

Elumba said the DA is now in the process of strengthening its technology transfer especially in Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete’s primary vegetable producer.

Technology transfer will help increase agricultural productivity, cut production costs, and lower consumer prices, he said.

Farmers are also taught to observe good agricultural practices, integrated pest management (also known as integrated pest control), and the use of quality seeds.

They are also encouraged to consolidate through the large-scale marketing of their products instead of individually per farmer to improve efficiency, optimize land utilization, and increase crop productivity.

Farmer’s subsidy

Meanwhile, Elumba clarified that the second batch of rice farmers to be given cash subsidies amounting to P5,000 each will receive the aid on the first week of July, contrary to an earlier announcement that it will be given in June for Central Visayas.

Elumba said there will be 91,000 beneficiaries this year compared to around 51,000 farmers who benefited from the program in 2021.

Bohol Province will have the most number of beneficiaries with 57,000, followed by Negros Oriental (23,000), Cebu (2,500), and Siquijor (500).

Elumba said the process of releasing the subsidy is tedious, causing a little delay.

He assured that the money has already been approved and is now ready to be distributed by Universal Storefront Services Corp.

The rice farmers’ financial assistance fund is taken from excess collections under the Rice Tariffication Law. Rice farmers nationwide tilling less than two hectares will benefit from the cash assistance until 2024.

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