Garcia tells Davide: I improved your uncle’s agriculture program

Posted on October 15, 2012

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Instead of abolishing it, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the Capitol even expanded the Farmers’ Scientists Training Program into what is now called the Integrated Farming System Development Program.

She made the clarification after Hilario “Junjun” Davide III criticized her administration for not supporting the Farmers’ Scientists Training Program (FSTP) championed by his uncle, Romulo Davide.

The elder Davide earned the prestigious Magsaysay Award this year for his work in agriculture.

The governor chided Junjun Davide for advocating what may be an outdated agriculture development strategy.

“So, kung ang iyang focus sa kaniadto ra gihapon nga karaang program, unsa ni nato pag-uswag ug pagpadayon sa naabtan nato karun nga level of achievement for the province? (So, if his focus is the old and outdated program, how can we progress and reach our level of achievement for the province?). The program that we are now implementing covers a much wider range,” Garcia said.

The governor said she never abandoned the FSTP. She said she in fact expanded it and renamed it the Integrated Farming System Development Program (IFSDP).

Romulo Davide earned the prestigious Magsaysay Award basically for his work in turning poor farmers into field scientists.

“Junjun Davide should do his homework. Apparently he has not- that we are the very first local government unit to extend crop insurance to include even the equipment of our fisherfolks,” Garcia said of the criticisms earlier posed by the Liberal Party (LP) gubernatorial candidate.

She added that one of milestones in her agriculture program is the agriculture insurance that doesn’t just cover crops, but also the fishing boats and personal accident insurance to farmers and fisherfolk.

In fact, Garcia said the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council (RAFC-7), on its silver anniversary celebration last Oct. 9, gave her a plaque of recognition for her “selfless and sincere effort to protect the lives and livelihood of small farmers and fisherfolks through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).”

Earlier, Davide said he will revive the FSTP, a program which his uncle initiated when he was still Capitol consultant.

The LP gubernatorial bet is taking off from his uncle’s complaints about the governor’s withdrawal of support to the FSTP which affected more than 20,000 FSTP-trained farmers. Junjun Davide ran but lost to Garcia in 2010.

Garcia said the FSTP was only limited to rice and corn while ISFDP, which began in July 2011, covers other high value crops like mango and banana.

The program also includes organic farming and expanded crop insurance.

The Capitol has already paid P6,925,955.59 for the premiums of the beneficiaries province-wide.

The Capitol paid a premium of P35 for each of the beneficiaries, who are insured under the PCIC.

Aside from the crops and equipment, the insurance policy also covers livestock, horses, swines, goats, cattle and carabaos.

The PCIC insurance policy covers medical reimbursement, death and burial benefits with proceeds amounting to P57,000.

Out of the 36,000 targeted beneficiaries, Provincial Agriculturist Necias Vicoy said there are around 22,000 to 28,000 farmers and fisherfolks, who are already insured under the PCIC. /Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent

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