Mayor spells out assistance extended to farmers, fishers

At least 25,300 farmers and fisherfolks in Zamboanga City have received various assistance from the local government, including pests and diseases surveillance and control covering rice fields, corn and cassava plantation, among other high value crops.

The city has also distributed fertilizers and other forms of support aimed at increasing rice production and as a component to support certified inbred rice seeds project for the rice farmers.

Mayor Beng Climaco recently reported to the Sangguniang Panlungsod that her administration had also allocated P40 million to help transform the agricultural sector into one that is dynamic, technologically advanced and aiming at increasing the efficiency of agricultural production providing equipment and other farm inputs which were distributed to identified farmer recipients.

She said a total of 32 irrigation associations with 800 farmer-members directly benefitted too from the construction, rehabilitation and improvement of 30 irrigation canals and laterals amounting to P36 million form 2014-2018.

Other outstanding agri initiatives include the home gardening project, the native chicken projects, the “bahay kubo” project and the “kadiwa on wheels”, which were all beneficial to the people especially at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Office of the City Veterinarian is also a strong partner as it is mandated to be at the forefront in the delivery of basic veterinary services such as the protection of veterinary public health, safeguarding the animal health and welfare, and the promotion and development of the local livestock and poultry industry.

Climaco said she had issued Executive Order No. BC 596-2020 that established the African Swine Fever (ASF) Prevention and Control Committee responsible for the conduct of regular surveillance activities, the immediate diagnosis of suspected premises and initiation of stamping out procedures, the implementation of the prescribed biosecurity measures and regulation or prohibition of animal and human movement, the periodic identification and consolidation of data related to swine population and swine holding operations, as well as the information, education and communication of all matters, updates and preventive strategies pertaining to the African Swine Fever (ASF).

The city has also established checkpoints at its borders to undertake sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures which are quarantine and biosecurity measures to protect human, animal or plant life or health from risks arising from the introduction, establishment and spread of pests and diseases and from risks arising from additives, toxins and contaminants in food and feeds.

Moreover, the City Vet also rolled out programs that helped improve the quality and quantity of livestock and poultry population and the production efficiency of the raisers and promote livestock and poultry raising as additional means of livelihood to farmer.

Other support include artificial insemination, animal dispersal including our anti rabies program for dogs and cats which conducted together with the “Dia de Alcaldeza Program” in the barangays.-(Vic Larato)