The Department of Agriculture (DA) has selected Sarangani province as the pilot for the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Systems (Pafes) in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
The project will be given a P226-million budget.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar and Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon forged last February 5 the partnership to pilot Pafes, a flagship initiative of the DA, to strengthen the research extension of farmer and fisherfolk linkages in the province; spearhead agricultural modernization and industrialization; and enhance rural livelihood through massive utilization of science-based innovations and establishments of agro-based enterprises.
Solon expressed his gratitude to the DA for entrusting another project to Sarangani.
“Let us utilize this blessing. Let us work together to increase the production of agricultural crops and fisheries to strengthen and boost the economy in Sarangani,” Solon added.
Dar said Pafes will also serve as a platform to counter the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on rural communities.
“Experts have previously warned that the negative economic impact of Covid-19 will last for a long time,” he added.
Each region in the country is being eyed to pilot one province for Pafes.
Dar said the selection of Sarangani was based on the provincial government’s expressed interest, capacity, quality of governance, presence of a state university and college with strong agriculture and research and development program, and potential for success.
Sarangani’s successful implementation of the Special Area for Agricultural Development program under the DA was also one of the reasons for again selecting the province to be a recipient of another major project from government.