GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 January) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12 has turned over some P66 million worth of agricultural projects in South Cotabato province that were funded through the agency’s continuing modernization program.
Amalia Jayag-Datukan, DA Region 12 executive director, said Monday these projects comprised an irrigation system and grains processing facility that were implemented by the agency in support to the government’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program.
She said the projects include the recently-completed P34 million communal irrigation system in Barangay Talisay in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
“This project covers around 100 hectares and will benefit 172 farmer-beneficiaries and members of the area’s irrigators association,” she said in a statement.
The official said the project is composed of “two units of stream check structures with protection works of 33.10 meters, covering a canalization of 5.66 kilometers and a canal structure of 22 units.”
The project was turned over by the agency to the Barangay Talisay community irrigator’s association, she said.
In Barangay Ambalgan in Sto. Niño town, Datukan said they turned over recently a P32-million Agri-Pinoy Rice Processing Center to Firmus Farm Service Cooperative (FFSC).
She said the project was intended to reduce the deterioration of quality and address other postharvest problems of rice or palay farmers in the area.
The third-level rice processing facility will mainly provide access to efficient drying and milling facilities for local farmers, she said.
Based on a memorandum of agreement signed in quadripartite by DA Region12, National Food Authority, Sto. Niño municipal government and FFSC, the processing center will operate as procurement, marketing arm and linkage of farmers to milled rice buyers within Region 12.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Out of the facility’s P32-million allocation, P23.75 million was utilized for the construction of its grain processing and storage, the agreement cited.
It said P6 million was set aside for the initial working and operating capital as well as the capability building aspect while P1 million was allotted for administrative and management fees. (MindaNews)