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P5-B hike in DAR’s budget for mega farms sought

A partylist lawmaker has sought to augment the funding of the Department of Agrarian Reform for next year by an additional P5 billion to finance the “mega farms” project for farmer-beneficiaries.

During the House appropriations committee’s hearing on DAR’s proposed P8.85-billion budget for 2021, Magsasaka Party-list Rep. Argel Cabatbat suggested increasing the allocation for the mega farms’ proposal, wherein around 50 hectares of contiguous land will be developed into specialized crops production areas.

Cabatbat said the project would help bring back “economies of scale” that would greatly benefit farmers.

“I hope that we could provide funds for this. Ako, I would move to accommodate the increase in the budget of DAR in the amount of PHP5 billion so this project will be accommodated,” he said.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte also proposed to augment DAR’s budget by P3 billion to P5 billion.

“I agree with that [proposal. Their mega farms concept consolidates the farmlands owned by the beneficiaries into 50 hectares so that) we will evolve them from subsistence farming to commercial farming,” Villafuerte said.

“I will strongly push to fund the megafarming concept of at P3 to P5 billion to help the farmers,” he added.

DAR’s appropriations for next year are seven percent lower than this year’s budget amounting to P9.14 billion.

Publication Source :    People's Journal