THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a statement that it will set aside P30.87 billion from its 2024 budget for the National Rice Program.
The DA’s overall budget for 2024 is P167.5 billion, according to the National Expenditure Program (NEP).
It said that next year’s funding priorities reflect President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s order to “boost agricultural production for food security and economic growth.”
“The DA’s 2024 NEP focuses on investments that lower production costs, improve the value chains, and promote (farm) consolidation and modernization,” the DA said.
The DA added that P6.09 billion will go to the National Fisheries Program, and P5.28 billion to the National Corn Program.
The DA said that under next year’s NEP, livestock will get P4.35 billion and high-value crops P1.94 billion.
Additionally, the National Organic Agriculture Program, National Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Program, and the Halal Food Industry Development Program will be given P921 million, P436 million and P19 million, respectively.
It added that under the NEP, the DA is set to spend P9.80 billion for hybrid rice seed assistance, P9.55 billion for fertilizer assistance, and P2.750 billion for credit programs.
About P2.49 billion will also go to yellow corn seed and fertilizer, and P2.20 billion to hog repopulation.
“Moreover, P1 billion will be allotted for Quick Response Fund, P492.7 million for the Kadiwa Program (a network of direct-from-the-farm food stores), P374 million for onion cold storage, and P236.6 million for aquaculture and mariculture,” the DA said.
It added that about P230 million was set aside for hatcheries, P149.31 million for durian planting expansion, and P30.91 million for community gardens.
The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the National Government’s proposed P5.786-trillion budget for next year. This was a 9.5% increase from this year’s budget. — Adrian H. Halili