Published: Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:21 PM
More than 200,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries, most of them rice and corn farmers, have no more reason to fear losing their crops to incoming typhoons and other natural calamities this year.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) yesterday announced that the national government has allocated P1 billion for agricultural insurance coverage of at least 224,036 agrarian reform beneficiaries nationwide.
Secretary Proceso Alcala of DA and Undersecretary Jerry Pacturan of DAR and made the announcement during the signing ceremony of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries-Agricultural Insurance Program (ARB-AIP) at the DA Central Office.
According to Pacturan, the P1-billion agricultural insurance program will be implemented in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to ensure the productivity of lands awarded to farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“The program aims to protect agrarian reform beneficiaries against losses due to pest and disease infestations, natural calamities and extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change,” Pacturan explained.
“This is consistent with the integrated support services interventions provided by the national government to agrarian reform beneficiaries,” Alcala added.
Targeted to benefit from the program are 224,036 beneficiaries engaged in rice, corn, high-value commercial crop, and livestock production this 2013.
An estimated 137,352 beneficiaries who are into rice and corn production are expected to contribute to a higher count of the total program beneficiaries as they will be under the program’s coverage for two cropping cycle.
On the responsibilities of the partner agencies, the DAR is tasked to identify qualified CARP beneficiaries as program beneficiaries, provide technical support to facilitate credit access, enhance agricultural production, and submission of indemnity claims to DA-PCIC through its Regional Offices, among others.
The PCIC, on the other hand, is responsible in providing the agricultural insurance utilizing the P1 Billion subsidy solely for premium payment of coverage of eligible farmers endorsed by DAR.
Both the DAR and the DA shall shoulder their respective administrative and operational expenses to ensure smooth program implementation.
The program shall be managed by a Program Management Committee (PMC) to be assisted by a Technical Working Group (TWG) providing technical support and a Program Secretariat (PS) for the administrative support. At the regional level, a Regional Coordinating Team (RIT) shall be created to coordinate the over-all ARB-AIP implementation within the regions/provinces.
As a complementary program to DAR’s various credit access improvement and agricultural production enhancement programs, the agricultural insurance program shall benefit Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS), Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP), Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD), and Microfinance Capacity Development in Agrarian Reform Areas (MICROFIN_CAP@ARAS) key program beneficiaries, among others.
The ARCCESS Project, which is being implemented by the DAR in 233 pilot sub-projects nationwide, aims to improve the farm-based net income of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) through the development and consolidation of agri-based enterprises.
Through the DAR’s provision of professional services and common service facilities (CSF) or farm machines and equipment (i.e. tractors, combine harvesters, mechanical transplanters, and hauling trucks) to ARB organizations, the project is expected to result in economies of scale in farm production. These interventions are expected to lead to farm organizing or consolidation and this, in turn, will contribute to better prices, improved net income, and sustainable livelihood of beneficiaries.
Department of Agrarian Reform Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines Tel: (632) 928-7031 to 39
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