Roxas City -- The government has earmarked P9 billion for the National
Seed Program in the next two years.
Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap disclosed that the government is
spending P9 billions for the National Seed Program alone over the next
two years in subsidies coming from the earnings from the Expanded
Value Added Tax (E-VAT) on oil products.
Yap revealed that some P1.68 billion in windfall earnings from the 12%
E-VAT on oil products will augment subsidies for palay farmers
starting this wet season or main crop.
He explained that said subsidies for palay farmers are in the form of
certified seeds to increase rice sufficiency and providing food on the
table of every Filipino family.
Yap said that another P6.5 billion is being allocated by President
Arroyo for the intensified palay procurement program of the National
Food Authority this main harvest season, with the NFA to purchase as
high as 500,000 metric tons (MT) from farmers.
The NFA procurement target, he said, is about 1,460% higher than the
32,044 metric tons of palay it acquires from local growers at the
government support price during the same period last year.
For the dry crop in 2009, which will cover 1.80 million hectares of
land, the DA is poised to distribute seed subsidies to farmers so they
can plant hybrid seeds in some 300,000 hectares and certified seeds in
1.50 million hectares.
Such subsidies coming from the "Katas ng VAT" will given at an
equivalent of P1,500 per farmer/hectare for those planting hybrid
seeds or P1,200 for those planting certified seeds, Yap said.
He said that each sack of certified palay seeds under the subsidy
program can generate up to 120 sacks of palay or 60 sacks of milled rice.
At the onset of the dry or summer crop, President Arroyo has ordered
the National Food Authority (NFA) to increase the food agency's buying
support price to P17 per kilogram.
The President also directed the DA and NFA to increase the latter's
support price for corn from P8.50 per kilogram to P13 per kilogram for
white corn and from P7 to P10 per kilogram for yellow corn. (PIA)