Farmers are the new heroes during pandemic — DAR
MANILA, Philippines – Toiling in the farm so that other people may have something to eat is not an easy task, especially if there is a health pandemic to look out for.
Thus, farmers were aptly called the “new heroes” by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) which extolled the sacrifices farmers are doing at the frontlines.
“The agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are the new heroes during this time of pandemic… Without them, there can be no food on our tables,” Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said during the distribution of farm productivity assistance held in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya last June 5.
“Since no vaccine has been discovered yet against the COVID-19 virus, hence, our farmers and ARBs literally became our savior,” he added.
During the event, Castriciones led the distribution of farm inputs to beneficiaries, consisting of seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides, and farm tools.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Dindi M. Tan instructed their Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) officers to directly buy products from farmers’ cooperatives so that “the money of the government will really benefit the farmers.”
Tan also encouraged the ARBs to organize themselves or join Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations to strengthen their capacities and be able to market their products in bulk, provide common facilities for machineries and equipment, as well as improved access to institutional markets through shared logistics.
With the help of Task Group on Food Security (TGFS) with multiple NGO initiatives to help farmers reach consumers, a rise in locally-sourced food can be expected. (Jim Mendoza)
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