LINGAYEN — Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. has taken another bolstering step to further improve agricultural production in Pangasinan.
In three separate meetings with farmers of the province’s six districts, the Governor distributed a total of 14,000 bags of organic and inorganic fertilizers, 4,750 bags of certified palay seeds, 100,000 pieces of tilapia fingerlings, and 12,000 pieces of fruit-bearing tree seedlings on June 17 and 19 at the Pangasinan State University campus in Sta. Maria, provincial government’s agricultural nursery in San Quintin, and OPAG field office in Sta. Barbara town.
This brings the total distribution of about 6.8 million pieces of tilapia fingerlings disposed in about 489 communal bodies of water in different parts of the province with over 650,000 pieces of assorted forest and fruit bearing tree seedlings planted and 14,950 bags of certified palay seeds since the Agricultural Technology Enhancement Subsidy distributed and Loan Assistance Program (ATELAP) and Accelerated Certified Palay Seeds Production and Distribution (ACSPD) were launched in 2011.
Gov. Espino disclosed that Pangasinan will remain as agricultural farming for the next two decades or more. Hence, he urged the farmers to love their craft but think of other ways to divert some of their family members attention to other profession outside traditional farming and be prepared to the challenges of modernization.
The governor said that with the enhancement of agricultural productivity, Pangasinan was adjudged two years in a row as one of the Outstanding Provinces in the Philippines as Rice Achiever Awardee.
Gov. Espino said that through the program, Pangasinense farmers are able to see what interventions the government has been doing to increase their yields.
He urged, however, the farmers to use organic fertilizer to sustain soil fertility of their farmlands.
“What the provincial government only require is for the farmers to pay their loan because this is not a total dole out,” the governor said as he disclosed that 50% of the total cost of the farm inputs estimated at P8,060 received by each farmer is covered by a subsidy from the provincial government as the other half is given as a loan with a minimal interest rate.
“Farmers should not only acquire and use new farming technique, but must be responsible borrowers,” the governor said.
Joining the Governor in the three distribution activities were: Board Member Alfonso Bince, BM Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III and Mayor Teodoro Ramos in Sta. Maria; ABONO Partylist founder Engr. Rosendo So and BMs Bince and Espino in San Quintin; BMs Mojamito Libunao, Generoso Tulagan, Danilo Uy, ABONO Partylist President Ponciano Onia, DA-RFO1 OIC-Chief Leonardo Balbalec and Engr. Rosendo So in Sta. Barbara.
Said programs are funded by the provincial government, the Department of Agriculture (DA), and the ABONO Partylist. (By Ruby R. Bernardino)