MANILA – Planting and harvesting operations will be pursued to ensure sufficient agricultural supply amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said this was among the recommendations made by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“The government shall pursue the optimum level of harvesting activities and planting operations with the support of the National Irrigation Administration, as well as the prepositioning of agricultural inputs for early planting,” Nograles said in a virtual presser on Thursday.
He said the IATF-EID also adopted the DA’s recommendation that the Department of the Interior and Local Government advise local government units (LGUs) to actively partner with DA regional field offices for the operational planning and implementation of various programs and projects of the agency.
Nograles said the DA also recommended the improvement of the food value chain logistics.
The department also pushed for the Cash for Work Program amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, he added.
Earlier this month, the DA said it would distribute some PHP3 billion worth of assistance to local farmers who tilled a hectare or less of land and have been affected by the health crisis.
The Land Bank of the Philippines has begun distributing a PHP5,000 cash subsidy this week under the Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers program to qualified farmers or those located in provinces not covered by the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program. (PNA)