Secretary Proceso Alcala yesterday announced the Department of Agriculture’s allocation of P126.7 million in assistance to Negros Occidental to boost its crop production.
Alcala was in Bacolod City yesterday for the distribution of crop insurance to 1,510 of 10,000 rice farmers to be covered by the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program, described as a first in the country.
The DA may replicate the Negros First Universal Crop Insurance Program in other parts of the country, Alcala said, noting that it is the first time a provincial government has done so on such a large scale.
Jovy Bernabe, president of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp., said for every hectare of rice land insured, a farmer is guaranteed P17,680 in insurance payment if his crop is hit by pest infestation, plant diseases, and natural calamities.
That means for 10,000 Negros farmers insured, there is a an insurance guarantee of close to P180 million, he said.
Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan said the program aims to cover 10,000 Negros Occidental rice farmers by the end of the year.
Under the program an insurance premium of P840 per hectare per cropping is paid to the PCIC, with the provincial government shouldering P500 and the farmers putting up a counterpart of P340, he said.
In some cases the local government where the farmers are located shoulders the remaining P340, so the insurance becomes free for them, Tabianan added.
The farmers will also be covered by the Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Program, he added.
Yesterday Alcala turned over P1.6 million to Gov. Alfredo Marañon for a High Value Crops Development Project and for Coffee Seedlings and P1 million for production support and irrigation development in the third district of Negros Occidental.
Alcala also announced the allocation of P90 million for the Negros Occidental irrigation highway, P18 million for a rice processing center, P8 million for four combined harvesters, P1 million for a 35 hp tractor, P1 million for seven handheld tractors, P2 million for four transplanters, P1 million for four multipurpose drying pavements, P2 million for four flatbed dryers, P1 million for a hauler truck and P50,000 for corn seeds, Tabianan said.
The DA yesterday also raffled off three threshers worth P300,000, five carabaos worth P150,000, three hand tractors worth P500,000 and 100 bags of certified seeds worth P120,000 to the farmers, Tabianan said.*CPG