The Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas assisted farmers and local government unit representatives in the preparation of the Sagip Saka capacity development plan to facilitate agribusiness mechanisms to further enhance the capacity of farmers in attaining inclusive agribusiness.
Twenty-seven representatives from various farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and LGUs in Region 6 took part in the crafting of an enterprise capacity plan as one major component in the framework of Republic Act 11321, or the Sagip Saka Act.
The Act establishes the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program, a comprehensive set of objectives, targets, and holistic approach in promoting the establishment of enterprises involving agricultural and fishery products, a press release from the DA said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, the law’s principal author and principal sponsor in the Senate, was virtually present during the workshop in Iloilo City recently.
He said that the challenge now is on how to support and bridge the farmers and their cooperatives to secure a portion of P41 billion worth of government funding for their feeding and relief programs. There is a need to move towards farm enterprise management and development. Farmers’ products must be market-driven, he added.
Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division senior agriculturist Rhea Cristina Resol presented the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11321, the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture, membership to cooperatives and associations, and identification of existing tools, approaches, and innovations in developing agri-fishery products.
“It has to be a market-driven and market-based approach. The proposal has to be strict with its marketing aspect; we need to assure that we have a ready market. With the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, we have already assured that you have your existing store and outlet to be tagged as Kadiwa outlet; some of you has been our suppliers for the food and cash subsidy program, which is also part of the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita,” Resol said.
AMAD chief Maria Teresa Solis also reminded the participants to take care of the assistance provided by the national government agencies and LGUs. “You are the deserving associations and cooperatives and the development of your communities are in your hands. Manage well the resources given by the government,” Solis added.
The Sagip Saka Act covers agricultural and fisheries production, including fisheries and agri-based products and farm inputs, acquisition of work animals, farm and fishery machinery and equipment, acquisition of seeds, fertilizer, poultry, livestock, feeds, and other similar items, procurement of agricultural and fisheries products for storage, trading, processing, and distribution, construction, acquisition, and repair of facilities for production, processing, storage, transportation, communication, marketing, and such other facilities in support of agriculture and fisheries.
It provides a working capital for agriculture and fisheries graduates to enable them to engage in agriculture and fisheries, agribusiness activities that support soil and water conservation, and ecology enhancing activities, working capital for long-gestating projects, and credit guarantees on uncollateralized loans to farmers and fisherfolk, the press release added.*