Press Releases

Salceda wants agri-coops, support services established for beneficiaries of 56k hectares of government agri lands

September 13th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) says that he is requesting the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Agrarian reform to ensure that the beneficiaries of President Marcos’s proposed distribution of 56,000 hectares of government agricultural lands will be provided with adequate support systems and services, such as cooperatives and credit unions, and other support programs, “to ensure that they do not fall into the same cycles of poverty and inefficiency that agrarian reform beneficiaries fell into.”

“The distribution of government agrarian lands is a way for us to correct, in a way, all of our mistakes in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program,” Salceda said.

“Just to give you a scale of what 56k hectares can do, that’s three times all our land for onion production, more than twenty times our land for garlic, and twice how much land we plant with cacao. This can very well open an entire new cash crop or top export for the country. It can solve our deficiencies in key crops. But we have to get it right.”

Salceda said that “PBBM only needs to look back at a model for rural development envisioned by his father. He needs only look at Presidential Decree No. 175, which created Samahang Nayon and Kilusang Bayan, as support systems for small landholders.”

“I’ve seen how parts of that law have worked when applied well. When I was governor, the provincial employees coop was given a credit surety fund that allowed them to borrow sums that they grew to around P1 billion in assets by now. The Barrio Guarantee Fund is a strong impetus for cooperative growth if the government can revive it and make it work.”

“Funds and services under the various flagship programs of the DA can also be channeled through these SNs and KBs, as long as competent managers can be deployed in them,” Salceda added.

To this effect, Salceda wants an “agribusiness development program” among the beneficiaries of the land distribution program, to train farmers and their adult children how to manage farms in a more profitable and less risky manner. He also proposes to deploy agribusiness students to SNs and KBs under the Government Internship Program and other cash-for-work programs of the government.

“I think we can make this work if we put our heads together. This grant represents the single biggest grant of state land since CARP itself. It’s a very meaningful gift of the President to the country on his birthday. It could be revolutionary if we get it right.”

“It’s almost all idle land right now, so it will definitely boost agricultural output. But, we need not replicate the mistakes and shortcomings of the agriculture sector. Irrigation, especially small-scale and deliberate irrigation through SNs and KBs, support services, access to credit through associations, and continued training and capacity development could change the game here.”

Salceda says he will provide his insights on the matter in a lecture to businessmen of the North Luzon Area Business Conference on Saturday, where he is set to make a speech as the conference’s tapped expert on agricultural policy and modernization.

“I will talk in greater detail on this matter this week, for the President’s kababayans in the North Luzon Area. I will also submit these insights to PRRD, Secretary Estrella, and Undersecretary Panganiban.”

Other Press Releases
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More
The problem of access to Senior Citizen healthcare is structural, but it should be addressed alongside other issues with Senior Citizen welfare.
Read More