Strengthen local food production for continuous food supply, DA urged

Manila, Philippines — “The Department of Agriculture (DA) should strengthen local food producers in a form of production subsidy to ensure stable supply of agricultural and fishery products in the country,” according to the activist fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Wednesday, responding to the DA urging farmers and fishers to consistently supply their products in Metro Manila amid the planned “food holiday” by some local food producers.

“It is not enough that the DA would only verbally encourage farmers and fishers to constantly supply the metro with their products when the food producers themselves suffer the hardships in their production. How about a livelihood support to guarantee that food producers can keep up with the wheels of production?” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement.

The fishers’ group also demands the DA to “directly procure” the fishery and agricultural products of fishers and farmers at “equitable prices” that would replace the production cost.

“Transport of products from coastal and farming communities under the current community quarantine status is still limited. It should be the government’s responsibility to ensure that food products must be equitably procured from the producers and delivered at a reasonable price to consumers,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative added.

PAMALAKAYA and Anakpawis are urging the Congress to urgently pass the House bill no. 9192 seeking P15, 000 financial and production support for more than one million small fisherfolks to “pump-prime” the production amid the coronavirus pandemic. ###

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