SouthCot, DA-12 eye cost-sharing for agri projects

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/1 February)– The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the implementation of around P70 million worth of agricultural infrastructure support projects through a grant from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said in a statement that the provincial government is working on signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DA Region 12 for the implementation of various infrastructure projects and postharvest facilities through a cost-sharing scheme.

She said they are only waiting for the issuance of an authority from the provincial board to facilitate the forging of the MOA.

Under the initiative, the governor said DA will shoulder 85 percent or equivalent to P59.6 million of the project cost while the provincial government will contribute 15 percent or around P10.5 million.

She said the provincial government has already set aside its required counterpart fund for the project under its 2014 budget.

“The implementation phase will immediately begin after the signing of the agreement,” Fuentes said.

A project briefer noted that two projects were allotted for Tantangan town and one each for Koronadal City and the municipalities of Banga and T’boli.

The lined up projects are the concreting of the San Felipe to Tinongcop farm-to-market road worth P21.17 million and the concreting of the Libas to Maibo road worth P20.01 million in Tantangan town; concreting of junction national highway in San Vicente to Sitio Opong road worth P8.2 million in Banga town; concreting of Lamsalome to Lambangan road worth P8.2 million in T’boli town; and, the concreting of junction national highway to Paraiso road worth P11.76 million in Koronadal.

Fuentes said Banga and Tampakan towns are also getting two units of corn shellers worth P411,760 and two units of corn mills worth P352,940.

She added that these projects are geared towards ensuring food security and the realization of DA’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program.

Earlier this month, DA-12 turned over a P32-million Agri-Pinoy Rice Processing Center to Firmus Farm Service Cooperative (FFSC) in Barangay Ambalgan in Sto. Niño town.

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.

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)