Senate approves Sagip Saka bill

Here is a measure that seeks to end the practice of having separate agriculture and fisheries programs by institutionalizing the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program

The Senate passed on third and final reading a bill seeking to increase the incomes of farmers and fisherfolk through the establishment of an integrated enterprise development program for farmers and fisherfolk in the Department of Agriculture. Senate Bill No. 1281 or the proposed Sagip Saka Act of 2017 was authored by Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.

The measure sought to end the practice of having separate agriculture and fisheries programs by institutionalizing the Farmers and Fisherfolk Enterprise Development Program of the Department of Agriculture and bringing a multi-sectoral approach to providing for the needs of farmers and fishermen.

According to Pangilinan, the measure would address the issue of poverty in the agricultural and fisheries sector, as it requires government to directly buy food products from accredited agricultural cooperatives and grants tax incentives to private entities and corporations that buy directly from farmers and fisher folks' enterprises.

The measure would also allow the government to do capital mobilization for the producer through a multi-sectoral approach where the government, working together with the private sector, the local government units, and farmers and fisherfolk, would create an environment conducive to investments in agriculture and fisheries.

"The Sagip Saka Program will help consolidate all the inputs the farmers and fishermen need so that they can organize themselves, learn the food value chain from production to financing, crop insurance, technologies and to business development, particularly marketing, and apply all these to improve their income and standard of living," Pangilinan noted.

Photo courtesy of Agricoolture.ph