Sen. Imee expresses disappointments over agri programs

By March 12, 2023Top Stories

KNOWN for her candor when meeting with media, Senator and presidential sister Imee Marcos expressed disappointment over the failure of both the national (and local  governments) to fully support farmers in Pangasinan after she met with farmers’ groups on  their situation and to be updated about status of the government’s programs for them during her visit on March 4 at the Capitol in Lingayen.

Her disappointments stemmed from her dialogue with Young Farmers Challenge Program Awardees and local officials in Sta. Barbara, San Nicolas, Mangaldan, Bayambang, and San Fabian engaged in in production of rabbit meat, swine/pork, vegetable, egg, corn, chicken, coconut, mushroom, quail egg, and seedlings.

The awardees received P50,000 to P100,000 grants each and started operation in 2021 and 2022 but except for one group, the rest are still not generating sales pending completion of their preparations for an enterprise operation.

Marcos emphasized that there’s a need to focus on agriculture in Pangasinan but she noted the individual awardees have not been organized themselves as cooperatives.

She urged the groups to level up and observe good practices to make their business grow.

In an interview with local newsmen, Marcos admitted she was disappointed with the Department of Agriculture projects in Pangasinan.

Medyo hindi ko maintindihan. Nauuna ang Pangasinan sa lahat ng bagay, Malaki, pinakamayaman daw pero ang problema, nahuhuli yata ang agrikultura rito kung ihahambing natin sa iba’t-ibang lugar, katulad ng Ilocos Sur, bonggang-bongga yung Ilocos Sur kasi meron silang mga coop sa agriculture na bilyonaryo na at nagpapa-utang sila sa mga maliliit na coop,” she said.

She added, “Napansin ko napaka-konti ng coop dito sa Pangasinan, sobrang konti sa dami ng tao, noh?”

She wants the Cooperative Development Authority to be more active and help these groups.

She noted that Pangasinan is lagging behind in cooperative movements unlike in other provinces in Region 1.

Marcos said she wants more programs for young farmers (those under 30s) to encourage them to remain farming since today’s old farmers will be gone and there’s a need to take their place. (Eva Visperas)

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