DAGUPAN CITY —The Department of Agriculture Ilocos regional office (DA-1) has mobilized its eight trucks to help the National Food Authority (NFA) transport palay from the farmers to the warehouses or buying stations.
In an interview on Monday, DA-1 director Nestor Domenden said this is in response to the instruction given by DA Secretary William Dar to all the regional directors to help the farmers by making available all vehicles for the transport of palay from the source to the buying stations.
Domenden said the ‘libreng hakot'(free transport) operation first started in La Union province and then in Pangasinan.
He said they were also tasked to form Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita outlets to help farmers connect directly to consumers or buyers.
“Tinutulungan natin ang mga farmers dalhin nila ang kanilang produkto kagaya ng gulay sa isang lugar at doon bibili ang mga consumers (We are helping farmers bring their products like vegetables, among others, in one place where consumers easily buy,” he added.
In Pangasinan, the first entity to respond to the call of the DA to host a Kadiwa outlet is the Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (CENPELCO).
Meanwhile, the Rice Processing Complex (RPC) located at the provincial nursery compound in barangay Tebag Sta. Barbara town will soon be operational again.
“Secretary Dar also visited the RPC last week after the distribution of farm machineries to beneficiaries held in Lingayen and he asked us to make the center operational again. We are now looking for funds to fix the parts of the processing plant that are no longer functional,” Domenden said.
He said the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization will have a counterpart for the provision of machineries in the center.
He added the RPC has not been operational for more than one year now due to damaged parts caused by natural wear-and-tear and electrical wiring destroyed by rats.
The RPC in Pangasinan was inaugurated in 2011. Liwayway Yparraguirre / PNA – northboundasia.com