Yap: LGUs should put more money on local agri

Yap spoke at the Fifth National Grains Postproduction Conference here today asking the private sector to help him talk to the LGUs to focus more on agriculture.

He cited reports that local governments do not give support to the Department of Agriculture's thrusts despite the devolution of the sector to local governance.

Yap said it is the local government who knows more the needs of their constituents on agriculture.

He said with the devolution, local governments now have greater stake in the development of their locality "than some national government bureaucrats sitting in Manila."

He said there are situations when municipal and provincial agriculture personnel and officials are not supported.

"Sometimes their training is neglected, their pay is not given, and some of them are removed for political reasons," he lamented.

Yap stressed that agriculture services, such as post harvest facilities, should be attended to by the LGUs because it is a devolved component. Yap stressed the devolution provided in the Local Government Code has given the responsibility and legal mandate to the LGUs.

He said DA is supposed to focus more on research, education, and extension based on the Agriculture and Fisheries and Modernization Act.

He said in DAs effort to provide as much drying and storage facilities to the farmers to cut loses to production because of lack of post harvest facilities, the private sector has to do its share.

Yap said the DA is discouraging LGUs to rely on doleouts from the national government.

He said the kind of relationship they want to build with LGUs is such that they will have counterparts to a project.

"A local government that asks for a doleout has no stake in what it is asking for, and does not know what it is asking for,"

"We put money to local governments that invest in agriculture," Yap said.

"For us in the DA that's what we'd like to see from our local leaders, we would like them to give as much support to their agriculture, partner with us, and put their money in agriculture," he said.